• August 13th, 2020

Vendors feel the squeeze under strict virus measures

Windhoek mayor Fransina Kahungu has appealed to companies to come on board and assist with spring-cleaning markets around the city to enable vendors to resume trading. 

“We have many markets. We need money and manpower and we don’t have all that at once,” said Kahungu, who said they also have plans to put up structures, which will be demarcated for vendors at the Okuryangava clinic. 

On Tuesday, street vendors usually operating along the busy Okuryangava Street next to the Tukondjeni open market were barred from operating by police officers. The vendors complained they were facing hunger and hardship by doing nothing at home. 
Public vending is still prohibited during Stage 2 of the Covid-19 state of emergency regulations. The vendors said they were suffering and their livelihoods threatened by the Covid-19 state of emergency regulations. 

The Tukondjeni market is closed for cleaning and renovations at the moment. The vendors returned to the streets as most shops and businesses opened on Tuesday since closing on 27 March following the national lockdown. 

“If I go home. What am I going to eat? I support my children and mother in Kavango. I didn’t get the food parcel which were distributed in Tobias Hainyeko constituency and I didn’t get the N$750 as the emergency income grant from the government,” said 44-year-old Natalia David who sells vegetables at the market. The vendor told New Era she lives in her shack with 13 children, seven of whom are her biological children and six grandchildren and provides for all of them. Another vendor, 42-year-old Susana Kasazi suggested the police should allow them to trade and put strict measures in place for vendors such as sitting five metres apart.  

Another unidentified vendor bemoaned that the City of Windhoek was taking long to clean and renovate the market to enable them to resume trading. A cosmetics seller, Michael Walondele, said he was tired of being chased by the police. 
“I left home because of poverty not that I want to be in public and expose myself to coronavirus. Every day the police is chasing us away,” said Walondele who also said he received the N$750. 
He said his relatives gave him money to start his business, as it is his only way of survival.  

Selma Ikela
2020-05-07 10:04:44 | 3 months ago

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