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Open for business, but no one to sell to – Joburg traders

Traders initially were not allowed to trade due to the lockdown, but thereafter some permits were issued.

Picture: pixabay.com

JOHANNESBURG – Informal traders in Johannesburg said it was not business as usual as customers were staying indoors.

Traders initially were not allowed to trade due to the lockdown, but thereafter some permits were issued.

Only a few informal traders are back at their stalls in the empty streets of Johannesburg on Thursday.

This after they were issued with temporary permits allowing them to sell.

Some of those seen there are selling fruit and vegetables as per the amended regulation.

A trader said while they had commended government for lifting the ban, they were struggling.

“At least we can survive, at least we can feed our families. But it’s bad. There are no people in the streets. Who are we going to sell to?"

Another trader has also welcomed the move.

“Government tried to help us, just trying to manage.”

Not all traders were granted permits after a large crowd gathered at the city’s offices, and the issuing of permits was suspended.

The City of Joburg has so far issued permits to 1,200 informal traders.

It said before the suspension of the registration process on Tuesday, the majority of hawkers had already been issued with the trading papers.

Spokesperson Nthatisi Modingoane said: “When the process of issuing the permits was halted on Tuesday, the city ahd already issued 1,200 permits to the 1,600 eligible traders.”

Modingoane said they hoped to complete the registration process by Friday.

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