EFF tells protesting hawkers to "fight back"

EFF tells protesting hawkers to "fight back"

Street vendors in Rustenburg should fight back when municipal law enforcement officers tried to confiscate their goods, the EFF said on Monday.


“Fight them, fight back, you must not run away. If you are arrested we will take it up with the courts. I am not scared of them and you too should not be afraid of them,” said Thulani Makhanye, EFF chairperson in the Bojanala region.

He was speaking to hawkers during their march to the Rustenburg local municipality.

“After this march we do not want to see public safety officers at the rank. They must wait until the issue is resolved.”

About 300 unhappy hawkers wanted the municipality to return their good confiscated on October 15. The march passed without incident but when the hawkers returned to the taxi rank they attacked those hawkers who had continued to trade.

The hawkers had also demanded that the municipality reserve parking space for their suppliers. They claimed suppliers’ cars were being towed away every time they delivered goods.

In a memorandum, the hawkers demanded equal stall space for all hawkers, claiming that some stalls were bigger than others.

“We demand that the municipality must intervene in that matter as soon as possible,” said Jane Mpolokeng, co-ordinator of the march, reading out the memorandum.

She said the hawkers did not trust a committee representing hawkers.

“These people [committee] serve their interests, they have forgotten about hawkers. Each time they went out to visit other municipalities to see how hawkers work, they imposed decisions on hawkers. They do not listen to their views,” she said.

The hawkers gave the Rustenburg, mayor Mpho Khunou seven working days to respond to their demands, threatening another march if Khunou failed to respond in the stipulated period.

Hawkers dispersed peacefully after handing over the memorandum, however on their arrival at the taxi rank they set upon other hawkers who had continued trading while they were marching.

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