Traders say situation forces them back to the streets

2020-04-09 06:02
Informal traders can operate again if they have a permit.PHOTO: Unathi Obose

Informal traders can operate again if they have a permit.PHOTO: Unathi Obose

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Informal traders are relieved after government amended some of the 21-day-lockdown regulations. The lockdown came into effect on Thursday midnight 26 March, forcing many businesses to close down until after the Thursday 16 April.

However, there has been some amendments to some of the regulations to allow some business to reopen.

On Thursday 2 April minister of cooperative governance and traditional affairs Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma announced that the informal traders would be allowed to trade, but stick to current lockdown regulations.

Informal trader Lungiswa Gqumendlini, who sells fruit and vegetables near Site B Centre, described the relaxation of the regulation as a relief. “It was a hard and long week for us as vendors as we had no income. The relaxation of the regulation brought light to us as we are going to earn an income,” she said.

However, Gqumendlini said she is worried as her life is in danger.

“We’ve heard that the number of people affected by the virus is increasing daily and I’m scared. We are not here (selling) because we want to or enjoy it.

“The conditions back at home are compelling us to be here. We know we are not safe and anything can happen,” she said.

Gqumendlini said she has been working as a street vendor for more than six years. The mother of four said she is surviving on God’s grace.

“I don’t have gloves or a mask, but I do have water and soap. I keep on washing my hands regularly,” she said.

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