How the lockdown will affect the informal market sector, for both buyers and sellers

2020-03-26 20:09
A vendor tries to sell all her stock before lockdown. (Jenni Evans, News24)

A vendor tries to sell all her stock before lockdown. (Jenni Evans, News24)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Just R10 for a large packet of sweet, juicy black grapes and R7 for a bag of tomatoes ripened by the sun on the roadside were some of the Covid-19 fire sale deals on offer on Thursday.

In preparation for the 21-day lockdown, street vendors were clearing their stock, hence the lowered prices for their goods.

"We are trying to sell everything today," said a woman bagging okra as quickly as she could on Parklands Main Road in Cape Town.

The vendors' customers were not stockpiling crates of wine, beer and vodka, or queuing at chemists for scripts, instead they were loading up on greens.

President Cyril Ramaphosa's declaration of a national state of disaster ushered in a raft of regulations, which includes shutting down street vendors, fleamarkets and the millions of people who rely on these small earnings.

Lockdown

From vetkoek sellers to Greenmarket Square curio sellers, the national lockdown was evident as yawning spaces were left where just last week there was bustling trade. 

Street vendors

Winter jackets to be packed up. (Jenni Evans, News24)


Some traders told News24 they might try and sell from home, given that people were encouraged to get their supplies from local outlets.

A bin picker put his hand into a bin and inspected a cigarette butt. He usually plies the suburbs on rubbish bin day, collecting items that can be resold or used.

Asked how he will survive once he is barred from walking the streets, the man shrugged his shoulders and said: "I will just have to skarrel (scratch around) in the bushes."

A row of second-hand children's clothes fluttered on a fence in Bayside, Table View, and cosmetics with a little bit of lipstick or eye shadow were spread out for customers prepared to pay a few cents for the last scrapings of colour left in it.

For Abdul Hassan, a trader at one of the famous blue tents along Adderley Street, the lockdown will be financially catastrophic.

He is not the only one to suffer - the porters, who push their packed-up stalls to storage, and the ice merchants who help keep their drinks cold, will also be out of work. 

"Cyril Ramaphosa is not going to help me," he said as he passed a cigarette to a customer.

By Thursday afternoon, the traditional bright colours of the Adderley Street flower market were gone, with brown crates and flattened cardboard in their place, waiting for the street to empty out.

Read more on:    cape town  |  coronavirus
NEXT ON NEWS24X

Inside News24

 
/News
Traffic Alerts
Traffic

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Jobs in Western Cape region

Data Analyst

Cape Town
Tumaini Consulting
R540 000.00 - R800 000.00 Per Year

Imports Controller

Cape Town
Professional Career Services
R10 000.00 - R12 000.00 Per Month

Architect

Cape Town
Mass Staffing Projects
R400 000.00 - R600 000.00 Per Year

Property [change area]

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.