Sehloho Sethunya, Thaba Nchu:
Thank you very much, Express, for a wonderful and well-researched article (“Skills put food on the table”) published on the front page of the edition of 15 August.
I was deeply touched and moved by this article about 17 men (four of them being mentioned in the photo and article) detailing how they are making a living by trading next to the N8.
I am a resident of Thaba Nchu and I travel by Interstate Bus every day, to and from work in Bloemfontein.
Sometimes I drive past these gentlemen on my way to Botshabelo during the week, and on weekends when going to shop at the Botshabelo Mall.
Yes, indeed they are a familiar sight next to the N8.
As residents of Thaba Nchu, to us this foursome (in addition to providing for their families) are also our brothers, uncles, fathers and breadwinners.
Most importantly, they attract tourists, and, as stated in the article: “They have vast experience in skin tanning, producing sculptures and they are equipped with rare craft skills”.
My opinion is that these gentlemen need to be assisted to sustain their business, and that they can be of assistance to other generations, transferring skills that can be valuable throughout life.
The writer of the article mentioned that they trade from two makeshift workshops which they had created from recyclable weatherproof material.
Well, I have observed that their workshops are dilapidated, not a good sight for tourists and not a suitable place to refer to as a “workshop”.
Adverse weather conditions affect their business, because the material covering the makeshift structures are worn out.
My plea is that we take it up with the Office of the Mangaung Metro Municipality’s Mayor and government (the Department of Sport, Recreation, Arts and Culture) to intervene and assist these gentlemen with proper shelter.
Once more, thank you very much for this article and for putting our fellow brothers on the map. It is highly appreciated.