Big Issue needs big helping hand

2012-08-14 09:09

Cape Town - The Big Issue magazine, whose vendors have become a familiar sight on the streets of Cape Town, may have to close down.

Managing director Trudy Vlok said the Big Issue was about to publish its 200th edition, “which is a major achievement for any publication, let alone one linked to an NGO,” reported the Cape Argus.

“However, as the economic situation continues to worsen, funds are drying up and we need more help.”

She said the magazine was hoping to attract corporations to help keep the institution afloat.

Since its inception 15 years ago, the Big Issue has helped 17 000 people get on their feet and about 2 000 people were currently dependent on the magazine.

Vendors make R9 off every issue of the Big Issue they sell for R18.

“We are not asking for handouts; we are… appealing to corporate bodies and offering them partnerships that will see both parties benefit and companies that donate towards to the Big Issue will receive full tax benefits.”

Anybody willing to support the Big Issue may contact them at 021 461 6690 or visit their website at

  • olivia.karnak - 2012-08-14 09:33

    Ok, I'll buy one at the next traffic light.

  • davenewza - 2012-08-14 09:42

    I try to buy every issue... R18 every month or so does no harm to me but goes to a really good cause. Plus the read is vaguely interesting :)

  • jimmy.kawa.1 - 2012-08-14 09:49

    The concept of the big issue is a great one. Unfortunately it has reached a total saturation point. The mission of Big Issue and the notion of assisting people gain self employment and some level of dignity and self worth has become a constant harassment at every red traffic light. As soon as a offer of sale is turned down, the begging hand comes up wanting money. That is not the point of Big Issue. Big issue sees beyond the notion of hand outs degrading the reciever and hardening the hart of the giver. Added to this, the sellers wander around in the road and the intersections putting themselves (pedestrians who belong on the sidewalk) and the road users (cars, trucks, bikes, bicycles) in danger. If I were to accidently knock down a Big Issue seller who just steps out into the street, I am the one charged. Not the pedestrian. A far as I am aware, hawking is actually illegal at traffic intersection...

      jimmy.kawa.1 - 2012-08-14 18:17

      guess the 'thumbs down' people don't want to see the reality of the situation. as i stated i have no problem with the big issue, just the spin-offs. are the sellers selling big issue or are they begging? they actions of the few tarnish the image of the rest, and harden the hearts of the public. wait until one of you knocks a seller down in your big fat suv or causes an accident while swerving to avoid hitting a seller...

  • kaz.hse.7 - 2012-08-14 09:52

    When I used to stay in Cape Town I bought one every month. I believed the concept made perfect sense and is a novel way to try and uplift those who actually want to earn their money in a honest way. Will be sad if this had to close down.

  • Lyndatjie - 2012-08-14 10:52

    I buy 4 copies every month from different vendors because it is for a really worthwhile cause. I sincerely hope they get assistance because it would be catostrophic for those depending on the income to suddenly be deprived of it... If you have a heart - please forward a link of this article to all your friends and family... somebody out there should know somebody that could help.... the power of multimedia!!!

  • dee.980 - 2012-08-14 17:29

    How about teaming up with Noseweek? I find it a hassle looking for Noseweek - and would buy both from street vendor.

  • pages:
  • 1