Jobs emergency: Informal traders fear the worst

An informal vendor prepares food for a client at the Germiston Taxi Rank. AFP/Luca Sola

JOHANNESBURG - COVID-19 continues to take a bite at the informal sector.

Food vendors in Johannesburg say they are losing money as more people work from home.

Melusi Msimanga says this is the toughest period he’s faced in his 24 years of selling in Sandton.

READ: SA lockdown: Informal traders confused about regulations

“There’s no way you can even take R10 and put it in your pocket because there are no profits," Msimanga said.

"We have ladies who assist us here. It’s so bad that at times we even pay them half their salaries.

"Then after working more days, we pay them the other half.”

READ: SA Lockdown: Informal food traders allowed to operate

And the kiosk owners are doing all they can to keep their employees, even with fewer work days.

The problem lies in towering offices as corporates have either laid off workers or requested them to work from home.

That means less foot traffic towards the kiosks.

Statistics on this trade are hard to come by, but a 2010 study said informal vendors hold 22 percent of the country’s jobs.

* eNCA’s Aviwe Mtila spoke to some vendors who fear joining the unemployment ranks. Watch the video below.

Food vendors in Johannesburg say they are losing money as more people work from home. eNCA’s Aviwe Mtila spoke to some vendors who fear joining the unemployment ranks. Courtesy #DStv403

Source
eNCA