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How is the lockdown affecting informal traders and spaza shop owners?

8 April 2020 11:30 AM
Tags:
Spaza shops
Informal traders
COVID19
21 day lockdown SA

Eusebius McKaiser highlights the impact of the national lockdown on the informal sector.

South Africans are currently going through a 21-day lockdown in an attempt to curb the spread of COVID-19.

As a result, sweeping travel and social gathering restrictions have been rolled out across the country.

Last Thursday, Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs Minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma said informal food traders were now allowed to trade.

RELATED: Spaza shops to get financial assistance during lockdown

However, informal traders must obtain a permit from their councillors before setting up shop.

Eusebius McKaiser facilitates a discussion these new relaxed regulations on informal traders with University of Pretoria development studies lecturer Marc Wegerif, fresh produce street food trader Mpho Vele, Somali Association of South Africa National and Western Cape deputy-director Abdikadir Mohamed.

Informal trading sector is worth over R4 billion and employs more people that our formal trading sector. It contributes towards food security as it makes food more accessible to poorer people.

Marc Wegerif, Development studies lecturer - University of Pretoria

The lockdown came into effect but didn't include informal traders, he says.

Overnight hundreds and thousands of people were put out of business which was a disruption to food supply. We have to congratulate the government for responding quickly and relaxing regulations on informal traders. I am not against the lockdown, it is about how we make the lockdown work.

Marc Wegerif, Development studies lecturer - University of Pretoria

Vele says he works in the Johannesburg CBD and sells vegetables and fruits and says the lockdown is killing her business.

The money we make is used to support our children and the lockdown has impacted badly on my business.

Mpho Vele, Fresh produce street food trader

Mohamed says members of his organisation have faced a lot of challenges during the lockdown.

Listen below to the full conversation:


8 April 2020 11:30 AM
Tags:
Spaza shops
Informal traders
COVID19
21 day lockdown SA

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