The COVID-19 pandemic has severely affected informal traders in Johannesburg.

One of them is Samuel Mudzumbia who makes casual leather shoes, wallet, belts and sells them to patrons at the corner of seventh and second avenue in Melville, Johannesburg.

He says on a normal day he used to make enough money to even send some back home.

However, Mudzumbia says since most businesses in the vicinity are closed, times are tough.

Mudzumbia’s shoes cost R750, leather belts R250 and wallets R150 each.

“It’s very quiet these days around here. If it wasn’t for all this COVID-19, things would have been better than the way it is, because you see the restaurants and clubs are closed. Mostly some of their customers come from those guys.”

In the video below, Lusikisiki informal traders hard hit by COVID-19 lockdown:


In April, informal traders in Johannesburg complained about poor sales while welcoming government’s move to allow them to trade.

The City of Johannesburg has issued permits to 1 600 informal traders already registered on its database.

Spokesperson Nthatisi Modingoane said all 1 600 informal traders who have been granted permits to trade within the city must have protective clothing and adhere to COVID-19 regulations.

“Yes, they have been given specifications in terms of making sure that the one-metre radius in terms of social distancing is observed. There are issues around hygiene and cleanliness in their stalls. Issues of making sure that there are sanitizers and protective gear around there if they have to engage closely with customers. So, there are those regulations being monitored by our officers to make sure there’s compliance.”

He has warned those found operating without the necessary permits that they will be arrested and their goods confiscated as they are deemed to be violating COVID-19 regulations.- Additional reporting Tshepo Phagane

In the video below, some informal traders are trading without permits: