Unemployment has forced some South Africans to be street vendors

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High unemployment has compelled some South Africans to resort to street vending.

2022’s third Quarterly Labour Force Survey indicated that there were over three-million informal jobs in the country.

52-year-old Elizabeth Kefetoge is among those who have turned to the informal sector to make a living. She started selling food at the Mahikeng taxi rank 25 years ago.

“This vending business helped me a lot. I am able to do many things, I took my children to school, I built a house. I’m continuing to help myself with this business. It changed my life; it wasn’t bad for me during COVID-19. I worked, there were threats yes, but they couldn’t block me from working. I was mainly supported by taxi drivers and others across Mahikeng.:

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Other street vendors like Patricia Sehularo and Phillip Mafuza are seeking financial support. They say they are concerned that potential customers prefer well established businesses.

“I’m supporting my children with the money I make here. People go to the market buying things thinking our vegetables are expensive but it’s cheaper and fresh”, Sehularo explains.

We are struggling, our children went to school, have qualifications yet are not working. This business helps us to survive”, Mafuza says.