Keetmanshoop vendors engage municipality on COVID-19 measures

Keetmanshoop vendors engage municipality on COVID-19 measures
Photo credits: 

Close to 30 street vendors on Tuesday met with the Keetmanshoop Municipality to air their concerns after they were told to stop running their businesses due to the COVID-19 outbreak.
This follows a decision by the municipality last week to shut down all vending activities at the town until further notice in order to contain the spread of COVID-19.
At the meeting, the street vendors questioned why they were told to close their businesses while retailers such as Shoprite and Pick n Pay and businesses like bars, banks and taxis are still operating normally.
“Will people not get the virus in these places? Why only us, because when customers buy from us they do not stay for long. If we are serious with fighting coronavirus then everything should be locked down,” they argued.
They further suggested that the municipality could have at least introduced new operating hours for them in order to ensure that they sell out all their stock, as some of them are still seating with new stock.
“Now we are sitting with the new stock at home and what should we do with it? The kids at home are hungry, we cannot buy food for them as we do not have money. How will we feed our kids?” some vendors wanted to know.
They further wanted to know if the government or the municipality cannot provide them with hand sanitizers, gloves and masks so they can continue to feed their families while suggesting regular inspections of their business to ensure cleanliness at all times.
Keetmanshoop Mayor Gaudentia Krohne promised that the municipality will get back to them as soon as possible, as she needs to consult with the councillors.
She further told the vendors that the municipality does not have the right to close retail shops and banks and that council will therefore also consult the relevant authorities.
At the meeting a medical doctor at the Keetmanshoop State Hospital, Heroldt Uahindua, also explained to the vendors the dangers of COVID-19 and how it is spread.