Informal traders protest

“Our conditions are not pleasant, there’s no dignity in our workspaces and we tend to lose customers due to the unconducive environment in which we work under. We cannot even go to work when it’s raining,” France Bila, an informal trader told Bushbuckridge News.

This follows the Informal Traders Union’s joint memorandum submission with other businesses in Bushbuckridge at the municipal offices recently. The informal traders say they want better infrastructure which they have been promised by the municipality for too long, especially at the local taxi ranks.

Bila says the shacks from which they sell are not customer friendly; “We’ve been asking for intervention from the municipality, but then nothing is happening. They promised to come and look at our trading spots since last year, and now we’re happy that we were able to unite as one to submit a joint memorandum, hopefully our grievances will now be attended to,” he said.

According to Josiah Matsane, the chairperson of the Bushbuckridge Taxi Association, the municipality has been promising to fix the issue since 2001; “We told them that we don’t have a proper taxi rank at Pauliana, however, the municipality keeps on saying that they own that rank, its operating license, passengers and that the taxi owners just own their taxis. They’ve promised to fix the rank since 2001, yet even today nothing has been done.”

Matsane says the rank is dilapidated, without regular maintenance and sanitation. According to the municipality’s communication officer, Aubrey Mnisi, the municipality is in the process of rectifying these matters; “We have received a memorandum about the issues of the taxi rank and the hawkers, and we have already instructed our planning department to look at the rank and come up with a plan of how to improve that situation,” he said.

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