While South African growers are increasing their security to protect their produce from thugs posing as food sellers, street hawkers are having to deal with rising costs and stringent bylaws. Farmers in various parts of the country agree that the produce sold by some of the traders found on our streets is often stolen in the middle of the night from nearby farms. Even more concerning, there seems to be a trend of criminals posing as street sellers with the intention to harm anyone who stops to buy something.
According to Leader of the One Voice for all Hawkers Association, Julekha Latib, the problem is that South African laws do not favor informal traders, especially those who sell on the streets of Mzansi. “The problem is the bylaws and there are always issues with business owners. You find that some of the leaders of the organizations take money from these poor traders and expect them to pay,” said Latib.
These bylaws are regulations that are set up by municipalities and vary from each city. They usually outline rules for where and when street trading is allowed, as well as the types of goods that can be sold.