President of the South African Informal Traders Alliance Rosheda Muller says municipalities are not issuing permits for informal food traders.

On Thursday, Co-operative Government Minister Dr Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma announced that all spaza shops and informal food traders will be allowed to sell their products provided they have a permit from their municipalities.

Muller says whilst they are relieved that informal food traders will be allowed to trade during the lockdown, she’s been getting calls from members informing her that municipal offices are closed and they cannot apply for permits.

“Most reports are coming back that the doors of municipalities are closed or there’s no answer. So we are concerned and, therefore, we are writing again to the Presidency and the Ministers of COGTA so that we can then be part and parcel of the release of these permits. There has to be personal protective equipment, how far is local government going to assist in this roll out.”

Social distancing for informal traders

As scores of informal food traders are heading to fresh produce markets, some market owners say they will ensure that lockdown regulations are being adhered to.

The owners of a fresh produce market in Polokwane say they are only admitting a limited number of informal food traders to buy goods at their markets.

Government has eased regulations for traders selling food.

Group Regional Manager of a fresh produce market Jaco Swart says they are observing social distancing.

“Social distancing is very important. It is constant monitoring with our cleaning checklist, with our staff checklist to make sure that all of our staff all of people on site actually wear the face masks as well as sanitize by the entrance as well as by the exit when they are leaving, we also did and official risk assessment.” – Additional reporting by Katlego Nyoni.

In the video below, informal traders not yet back in business despite relaxation of lockdown regulations: