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The menace of Omuthiya’s street vendors

2019-10-04  Obrien Simasiku

The menace of Omuthiya’s street vendors

OMUTHIYA -The Omuthiya Town Council says in the absence of rules and regulations on informal traders and business registration, they are unable to take stringent action on the mushrooming of vendors that have swamped the valley town.

The town’s Local Economic Development Planner David Israel when approached for comment on what they are doing to curtail the situation echoed this. 

Lately, the town has experienced an influx of informal traders from other towns, of which many are Angolan nationals. The majority whom New Era spoke to have no proper documents allowing them to trade in Namibia, as well as permits allowing them to operate at the already congested Omuthiya Open Market. 

The new traders are forced to trade next to the B1 road due to limited space, as well as compete for customers, as they are the first stop for passer-by customers. Mostly, they sell all sorts of traditional products that one can think of. 

This congestion has exacerbated the already unhygienic condition of the area, as the traders have now turned the business place into a sleeping area after hours. 

 “These people are now setting up their tents at the open market, just next to where they are selling and also bath at the place. That’s unhygienic and unacceptable,” said a community member who refused to be named. 

Meanwhile, Israel said he could not tell whether some of the traders are foreign nationals or not because they have not verified that. “I cannot confirm to say they are foreigners. That can be determined by the immigration officials,” he stated.

“The council already have a plan in place, which aims at solving the dire and unbearable situation of informal traders at Omatala, which is to build a modern market for them. The first phase to be undertaken during this financial year will be to fence off the earmarked area,” added Israel.

In a February interview, former Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Samuel Mbango told this publication that the mixed-use market will likely cost about N$50 million once complete, and will include cold storage facilities and compartments for each trading stall.

On the other hand, the acting CEO Simon Nghuulondo said council is in the process to rope in the police to determine the legality of the traders before council takes action. 

2019-10-04  Obrien Simasiku

Tags: Oshikoto
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