Rundu's community markets have been allowed to reopen but are failing to attract customers, while street vendors want the same treatment.
30 April 2020 | Local News
Street vendors at Rundu, who have been temporarily accommodated at open markets, are demanding to be allowed to return to the streets.
Following government's relaxation of the state of emergency regulations, the Rundu town council reopened markets for trading under strict hygiene conditions.
However, the vendors said they aren't making any sales and their fresh produce has spoilt.
According to the new market regulations, only specific products such as cooked food as well as dried and fresh produce are allowed to be sold, and customers are not allowed to sit down.
When Namibian Sun arrived at the main Rundu open market, stalls were empty, with vendors sitting apart from each other, waiting for customers.
Various stalls also sported rotten tomatoes.
A vendor, who spoke on condition of anonymity, described the situation as “very bad”, as far as sales are concerned.
“We are not happy at all,” the vendor said.
“Since they put us here, we are not doing anything. We are selling food after they said we should only sell food items, but that food is getting rotten. This is because there are no customers here at the open market.
“We just come here to sit the whole day without making any sales, and when we go home, we have to face our children who are hungry. This is really bad,” she said.
Just following rules
When contacted for comment, Rundu town council acting CEO Sam Nekaro said they are simply following the guidelines.
He said removing vendors from the streets is in accordance with the state of emergency regulations.
Nekaro added it is unfortunate that vendors are experiencing difficulties, however, council cannot contravene government directives.