KEETMANSHOOP – The Keetmanshoop municipality recently erected 30 mobile stands for informal traders at the central and monument park sites in town as part of Covid-19 relief measures.
Municipal spokesperson Dawn Kruger explained to New Era that the structures, donated by the Deutsche Gesellschaft fur Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) from Germany, are aimed at protecting traders against the elements of nature as well as to keep the trading areas clean and hygienic.
“The total cost for assembling and fixing the structures adds up to N$80 000, paid for by the foreign donor,’’ she explained.
Kruger said GIZ also constructed ablution facilities at the two sites for the promotion of the health of traders and customers alike. “Informal traders play a significant role towards the economy of the town, hence the continuous efforts from council’s side to ensure their wellbeing,’’ she said.
The spokesperson expressed her profound gratitude on behalf of the municipality towards GIZ for realising the plight of the informal traders and coming forth with such a meaningful initiative.
When New Era visited some of the stalls, it became evident that the informal traders have mixed feelings after taking them into use. Titus Kavela (37), said he prefers to go back to his previous way of conducting business before the structures were erected.
‘’The initiative was not wrong, but these stalls are too small for my products to fit, apart from not providing
adequate shade,’’ he lamented. The trader added that the stalls are furthermore not safe as they were made of poor materials, neither are they safe to store his goods in overnight as it can be easily broken into. Another informal trader, who spoke on condition of anonymity, raised the complaint that they were not consulted before
these structures were erected.
“I do, however, appreciate mine as I
can now lock my table and barbeque stand inside at night as we are fortunate to be operating close to the police station,’’ she enthused. The source said she also has no problem in terms of space, but that the structure does not provide enough shade for customers during hot afternoons.
“We have to pay an amount of N$420 yearly for registration, a monthly rental amount of N$100, on top of paying N$600 from our pocket for the annual prescribed medical examinations we are required to undergo in order to operate as informal traders,” she continued.