Keetmans makes U-turn on street vendors

The Keetmanshoop municipality says they can’t subsidise vendors to make up for their loss of income.

27 March 2020 | Business

The Keetmanshoop municipality has agreed to allow street vendors to continue operating amid the Covid-19 outbreak, as it is unable to make up for the losses they will incur if they stop working.

The decision was taken at a meeting held by the municipality’s management after close to 30 vendors raised their concern at the effects the shutting down of their business would have on their lives.

The public relations officer of the municipality, Dawn Kruger, said preferably, vendors would stop operating, “but we cannot stop them if they wish to continue as we cannot give them an alternative such as a subsidy to make up for what they will lose”.

She said the street vendors should however take the necessary precautions at all times to ensure that they are safe and that their customers are kept safe too.

Precautions

“They do not have the facilities the bigger businesses they are competing with have, but we have told them to take precautions and keep their places clean and sanitise their hands and their customers’ hands when operating,” said Kruger.

In a meeting with Keetmanshoop mayor Gaudentia Krohne on Tuesday, the street vendors questioned why they were told to close their businesses while retailers and businesses like bars, banks and taxis are still operating normally.

The municipality last Thursday took a decision to shut down all vending activities at the town until further notice in response to the Covid-19 outbreak.

On Wednesday Nampa observed some street vendors operating, with many providing hand sanitiser to their customers. - Nampa

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