Vegetable sellers in Mdantsane might be using computers for their business soon
Image: File/ Sibongile Ngalwa

Vegetable sellers in Mdantsane running their business off computers could soon be a reality.

BCM business development manager Xolelwa Majiza is concerned that informal traders receiving the computers may not have the capacity.

“Most of our informal traders are illiterate and would need training before working on the machinery. We also need to consider how they are going to use this and where are they going to place the equipment, as you find they work outdoors, where they have no access to electricity or shelter.”

A2Pay, founded by Johannesburg businessman Bert Roux, is rolling out 150 computers loaded with vendor trader software, all linked into services offered from one paypoint.

The system is designed for veg sellers and spaza shop operators. Ripples For Change’s Galit Cohen hopes it will work. “It has to be people servicing communities with groceries or vegetables and fruit who are open to selling airtime, electricity, bus tickets, among some of the other services they can get from the computer loaded with the software.”

Cohen said while the computer would come at no cost, operators would pay R200 a month for the software.

“We have been working with Contralesa to ensure a broad variety of traders are represented from the city and the rural surrounds,” she said.

Contralesa BCM spokesman Mthuthuzeli Makinana said:

“This is very empowering. People need to know whether or not they are running at a loss.” The programme targets South African traders exclusively, although they are in the minority of informal traders.

“Right now South Africans are overpowered by foreigners who have more buying power and are better resourced,” Makinana added.

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