Rainy day shelters for hawkers

Handing over a new laptop on Monday to Mqanduli hawker Welekazi Ntsizi who has been rearing young chicks which she sells to her customers, are small business development deputy minister Zoleka Capa, justice and correctional services deputy minister Phathekile Holomisa and KSD acting mayor Thobeka Mtirara.
Handing over a new laptop on Monday to Mqanduli hawker Welekazi Ntsizi who has been rearing young chicks which she sells to her customers, are small business development deputy minister Zoleka Capa, justice and correctional services deputy minister Phathekile Holomisa and KSD acting mayor Thobeka Mtirara.
Image: Sikho Ntshobane

Bukelwa Maliphale has been running her own small business as a hawker selling fruit and frying Russians and chicken gizzards on the streets of Mqanduli for more than 14 years, but the mother of four could never bring any money back home on cold and rainy days.

This was because she did not have premises to shelter her from hostile weather.

She only had a small umbrella to keep the rain away.

But that all changed on Monday when she received a gazebo, a new gas stove and new pots from small business development deputy minister Zoleka Capa.

She donated start-up kits that included generators, cooler boxes, fridges, trolleys, cooking pans, and other essentials to a group of 147 hawkers and small-scale business owners in Mqanduli and Mthatha.

Capa’s department spent about R2.3m on the equipment, with most of the beneficiaries being women.

“The challenge of selling on the street is when there is rain or it is windy outside.

“You can’t do anything because there is no shelter for you,” the 43-year-old Maliphale explained.

According to Maliphale, this affected her profit as in good months, she was able to make at least about R500.

Father of three Jongikhaya Ndungane has been working as a street photographer in Mqanduli since 1993.

But he also often had to close his business when inclement weather arrived.

But now he will be able to continue with his work thanks to the donation of a new generator.

“Business is difficult when it rains as people do not want to have photos taken.

“Sometimes we also experience power outages which means you cannot do anything and have to sit at home.”

Justice and correctional services deputy minister Phathekile Holomisa, who accompanied Capa on Monday, had alerted Capa’s department to the hawkers’ plight.

He told the Daily Dispatch he approached Capa’s department prior to 2018 after hearing that it had money to assist small businesses.

He said the donation would assist in ensuring that hawkers were able to provide services in a cleaner environment, something which would also assist in keeping the two towns clean.

Capa told journalists that more than 200 small business owners and hawkers had applied to be assisted with the equipment and the next batch would be delivered in October.

She said the donation was a once-off and the aim was to support the OR Tambo district and King Sabata Dalindyebo municipalities in cleaning up taxi ranks and making them attractive to tourists.

“We want to create informal markets where hawkers can freely run their businesses. But our aim is to ensure we help them form co-operatives that will grow instead of remaining hawkers all their lives.”

Capa said they wanted to create areas where hawkers could operate based on what they were offering.

“At the moment, you find that someone is selling food while there is someone doing hair next to them.

“It’s unhealthy.

“Our support is to ensure that if you run a salon, you run it where there are salons, if you sell food, you are doing so in the right area,” Capa said.

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