NHLANGANO: Mathokoza Sikhondze the National Coordinator for the Coalition of Informal Economy Associations in Eswatini (CIEAES) said about 30 street vendors were kicked out from the Nhlangano City Centre for monies owed to the City Council.
Eswatini, a tiny Kingdom situated in Southern Africa has about 70% of the population living below the poverty, some of the citizens including women survive through subsistence farming.
In an interview with this publication, Sikhondze revealed that street vendors from Siyezama Traders Association have been kicked out from Nhlangano city centre for permit rental arrears.
“You will remember that last year the country was in a lockdown for a period of 3 full-months, which means the vendors didn’t generate any income during that period. But now the Town Council is demanding permit renewals for the whole 12 months. The vendors normally renew their permits every 3 months at E325 per individual, but this time they were in arrears due to the COVID 19 pandemic. They had anticipated that they would at least pay rentals for 9 months but the Town Council told them to pay 12 months rentals or face eviction and they were even not given notice As I speak these vendors are now languishing at home since they can’t afford the permit renewals”,he said.
Sikhondze added that the livelihoods of these vendors depended on their businesses, he said the Town Council was also not honest since it usually makes verbal agreements with the vendors which later changed without notice.
Apollo Maphalala, Nhlangano Town Chief Executive Officer (CEO) could not be reached for comment at the time of compiling this report as his mobile phone rang unanswered.
Nhlangano Town Council kick out street vendors