About the author
South African Informal Traders Alliance
On the back of the current community unrests in parts of our country, SAITA unequivocally condemns all acts of wanton destruction of property, wholesale theft, and looting seemingly associated with legitimate protest action, and this all happening within the areas we live! Whilst thugs and naïve residents involved in the mayhem may believe Christmas has come early, the consequences for all of us will indeed be dire.
SAITA has hundreds of traders who ply their businesses within the precincts of shopping centers, among which have been targeted. Those have now lost any hope of income and worst still is that their situation will be prolonged indefinitely. Others are afraid to set up their stalls in the city centers and suburbs for fear of being attacked by mobs. The situation is untenable.
Whereas the damages may run into hundreds of millions of Rands, we know that this money will be recuperated through price rises which will affect the poor communities including those who foolishly participate in this chaos. SAITA calls upon all its members to remain resolute and refrain from being roped into illegal activities no matter how tempting they may appear. We are a dignified workforce dependent upon our own capabilities and initiatives to survive.
Covid 19 has and continues to exacerbate the difficulties we endure. In the light of the above, SAITA makes the following submission: (1) We call upon government to make good on the monetary aid promised to the informal sector workers and to increase the initial amount to R1, 000 per person per month during the duration of the lockdown. The distribution thereof should commence immediately. (2) All informal workers must be provided with regular supplies of sanitizers and masks for their personal protection. (3) That government exercises extreme oversight on price increases on essential foodstuffs over the next few months. SAITA expresses its sadness at the senseless loss of life associated with the unfolding chaos. Thank you.
Rosheda Muller (President)