Informal traders desperate for sheltered stalls

2018-11-28 06:02
Street vendors (from left) Liliza Madondo, Bhozo Ngubane, and Khanyisile Zakwe appeal to the municipality to build them stalls with proper shelter.

Street vendors (from left) Liliza Madondo, Bhozo Ngubane, and Khanyisile Zakwe appeal to the municipality to build them stalls with proper shelter.

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MORE than 50 street vendors in Greytown have appealed to Umvoti Municipality to provide them with proper vending shelters.

Stall owners who spoke to the Greytown Gazette said they have been selling vegetables, fruits, and other items from their self-constructed street-side stalls for more than 20 years.

In these years of misery, they claimed that they have been promised better service and proper shelter was going to be provided to all the vendors with legal working permits, however they have yet to see any of this development take place.

Some of the vendors have built shacks using planks and strips of plastic bags in order to display their wares.

Liliza Madondo has been selling vegetables in Greytown for the past 18 years.

As the breadwinner in her family, and taking care of more than four children, she said that with the money she earned by selling vegetables she paid for her children’s tuition fees.

“When I started selling vegetables, I used to make a profit and pay for my children at university.

“Recently I have been struggling to make ends meet because we do not have proper shelter where we can trade.

“Officials from Umvoti Municipality have been making empty promises.

“They promised us last year that they would give all traders with valid permits proper shelter, but up until now, nothing is happening,” Madondo said.

She claimed that their stalls were destroyed four years back, thereafter the municipality replaced them with concrete tables that do not have shelter.

Madondo added: “We feel like we are being sidelined by the authorities in Greytown.

“We have been struggling for almost over 20 years to get proper shelter.”

Another stall owner, Mariemuthoo Naicker has been trading in the streets for over 25 years.

Naicker sells hardware equipment such as locks and kitchen utensils.

“I got a permit that gives me permission to sell and own a stall.

“It worries me that I have to come here every morning to sit in the scorching sun.

“All we are asking for is to get proper shelters where we can trade peacefully without going through all of this misery,” Naicker said. Other vendors who have been trading for many years in Greytown include Elizabeth Khumalo, Bhozo Ngubane, and Khanyisile Zakwe.

Ngubane said: “The little money I make from selling vegetables and fruits goes towards getting building material for my stall.

“I am not making a profit, because almost every month I have to buy strips of plastic bags to keep my stall stable,” she said.

Attempts to obtain comment from the Umvoti Municipality were unsuccessful at the time of going to press.

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