• July 12th, 2020

Keetmanshoop street hawkers sneeze from virus

Steven Klukowski

KEETMANSHOOP – Street hawkers, plying their trade at open spaces in Keetmanshoop, are dismayed with the municipality’s decision to shut their businesses as a precaution to mitigate the spread of Covid-19.
Group spokesperson Martin Mukota said they are being discriminated when this decision came into force. 
“They are reluctant to close down big supermarkets in town but are quick to evict us from our informal premises,” moaned Mukota.

Mukota said fruit and vegetables usually sold at their stalls might now get rotten, resulting in financial loss. 
“How will we now be able to make a daily living if our means of income has been cut off?” he questioned. He said they will not be in a delicate financial position to pay council for basic services, buy food or care for their families because of this dilemma. 

“Government must look after the people who voted them into power,” Mukota concluded.
Approached for comment, the council’s public relations officer, Dawn Kruger, said council has taken note of the threats posed by the global pandemic and the precautionary measures instituted by the government as recently announced by President Hage Geingob.

“Based on this, the Keetmanshoop Town Council, during a meeting that took place last week, resolved to close down business activities of street hawkers in town until further notice and as part of precautionary measures to be implemented to mitigate the spread of the coronavirus,” she explained.
Other measures, she said, include the cancellation of all public meetings and the envisaged free eye test clinic.

 “In addition, council will enforce the closure of all public gathering facilities like halls, sport stadia, indoor sports facilities like gyms and the public swimming pool with immediate effect,” she elaborated. She further stated the Keetmanshoop municipality had a follow-up meeting with the informal traders earlier this week, where it roped in a medical professional to explain the necessity of social distancing to the affected group.
In conclusion, she called on residents to remain calm and refrain from spreading unverified information that may cause unnecessary panic and despondence.
– sklukowski@nepc.com.na

Staff Reporter
2020-03-25 07:35:02 | 3 months ago

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