Big Issue mag offers livelyhood to vendors

2017-03-30 06:02
Maxwell Base, one of a host of The Big Issue vendors.

Maxwell Base, one of a host of The Big Issue vendors.

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His past criminal record denied him the opportunity to find work so he can support his family.

But thanks to The Big Issue magazine, today Maxwell Base is his own man; he sells copies of the magazine at the robots next to the Cape Gate Shopping Mall in Kraaifontein.

Previously, he had been charged for an argument he had been involved in.

“Although the charges were dropped, it was not removed from the judicial system and came back to haunt me. I am originally from the Eastern Cape but stays in Gugulethu with my wife and three children. I was unemployed and could not find a job and The Big Issue was my only way out to sustain my family,” Base said.

He is still selling the magazine and looking for a permanent job.

“Selling the magazine is an honest job and it would be nice to sell the magazine in the Mall instead of at the robots. Unfortunately I am not allowed to sell the magazine in the Mall. I will keep on selling at the robot and hope and pray that I will get a permanent job one day. I do odd jobs such as gardening and my biggest wish is to get my driver’s licence. I am appealing to motorists and shoppers to buy the magazine at R25 each to help feed my family,” he added.

“I used to be a merchandiser and it would be great if I could get a job in the same field, but I stay hopefull,” Base said. “The heart of The Big Issue operation is the social development department. Vendors and their families have access to guidance counselling and social support services. The Vendor Training and Development programme aims to equip vendors to move on into the formal job market through life and job skills training. Free crèche services and ongoing health check-ups are also made available to vendors,” said Penny Hawker.

“By earning an income, homeless, unemployed and socially marginalised people are taking their future into their own hands. Vendors buy each copy for R12.50 and sell the magazine for R25. Four depots - Woodstock, Wynberg, Bellville and Somerset West - keep vendors from all areas supplied with magazines. A mobile distribution van also resupplies vendors on the street,” she said. For Human Rights month the Bill of Rights booklet will be handed out with the magazine and the booklet is available in all the eleven official languages. “Through running a vendor sales operation, we create jobs for the unemployed(and) homeless.”


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