Lifeline for street vendors



Maseru – Vendors working on the streets of Maseru today received food packages from Government through the Ministry of Small Business Development, Cooperatives and Marketing and the Minister in the Prime Minister’s office.

The food packages consist of a 5kg packet of beans and a 12.5 kg of mealie meal per person.

’Mathembi Nkalache one of the recipients said she appreciates the efforts of government although it is not enough.

“We are happy that the government remembered us but these are not enough. If we were given stock or capital to help our businesses then we would go back to generating income and feeding ourselves,” she said adding that most of the vendors have lost business since the beginning of the lockdown and some might not even recover.

Monono Makhula who sells cigarettes along Pitso ground said the distribution of food packages is unfair as he is among many who did not receive anything.

“I do not understand the criteria used to select people who are eligible for the donations but I work here and people that work here know me well as one of them but I was not listed among those deserving the packages. It is the same case with the M500 relief funds, many other people did not receive that money,” he said.

Moreni ’Mabathoana, a sub-committee member of the street vendors’ association, said initially only about 3 000 people were set to receive donations out of almost 7 000 vendors registered in Maseru but they declined the offer.

“Packages for 3 000 people would not have been enough because all street vendors are affected by the lockdown, so we asked that they help us all. We hope a large number of us will receive food packages,” she explained.






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