Street vendors accuse Buffalo City of empty promises

2018-10-05 05:16
Informal traders in East London say the municipality has been promising to assist them for years but nothing ever happens. (Chris Gilili, GroundUp)

Informal traders in East London say the municipality has been promising to assist them for years but nothing ever happens. (Chris Gilili, GroundUp)

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

In April, Buffalo City Metropolitan Municipality's business development manager Xolelwa Majiza announced to the media plans to assist street vendors, reports GroundUp.

Majiza said R2.5m would be invested in better infrastructure, cooler boxes and umbrellas. About a thousand informal traders in East London were to benefit from the project starting from July for three years.

"Honestly, I do not see that happening; not with our municipality. We have been promised things for years," a street vendor said in a GroundUp report.

Questions sent last week went unanswered, although a month ago, the municipality told GroundUp that plans were in place for next year to make some improvements to the Tsholomnqa taxi rank specifically.

Lulama Zono looks after his 77-year-old mother. He has been selling fruit and snacks in Oxford Street for over 12 years.

"About five years ago the municipality promised us shelters and to give us training in business but nothing has happened. In the meantime our stock gets damaged by rain and the sun … Basically, we are ignored. There is no support offered to us, although formal businesses get so much attention from the metro."

"I have a National Diploma in Human Resource Management from the Buffalo City College. But since I couldn't secure any employment, I decided to open my own stall and trade … All my kids are at school and I raise them as a single parent. A little push from government would make a big difference in my and my family's life," said Zono.

Siphokazi Belani, who has been selling fruit at the Tsholomnqa taxi rank for five years, said: "Street vendors contribute to the economy as well. But the government has failed us. The informal trading sector has been ignored … When it rains, I cover the fruit with plastic [bags] … I pay a permit every month to operate this stall, but I don't understand where this money goes, because there is nothing I get. I am praying for just a shelter."

Sibusiso Mlota, who has been selling fruit, sweets and cigarettes in Caxton Street for three years, says he pays the metro a permit fee every month.

"I am yet to see any improvement for us by the metro … Since 2016, I have been trading here. There is no shelter over me, except the veranda of the store I am situated close to. Since last year, we have been receiving promises, but nothing is happening."

KEEP UPDATED on the latest news by subscribing to our FREE newsletter.

- FOLLOW News24 on Twitter

Read more on:    port elizabeth  |  service delivery

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


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 network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.