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Good Samaritans empty street vendors' stands ahead of lockdown

26 March 2020 - 14:36 By Naledi Shange
Some South Africans are buying up all the stock of street vendors to give them a boost before the lockdown. File picture.
Some South Africans are buying up all the stock of street vendors to give them a boost before the lockdown. File picture.
Image: File / Nonkululeko Njilo

With uncertainty brewing about how people with informal small businesses will make a living during the 21-day lockdown, some South Africans have made it their mission to buy from hawkers and empty their stands..

In a bid to challenge others to do the same, they are taking pictures of their good deeds and sharing them on social media.

Two men from Delmas, Pancho Masango Mkungu and Patrick Gossa, took part in the challenge.

Mkungu said some hawkers had closed shop for the day as he and Gossa managed to buy up all their stock.

Vegetables, fruit, boiled eggs, snacks, sweets, biscuits and cold drinks were among the items that were being sold.

“We then donated what we bought to Botleng Society for the Aged (Old Age Home). Let's support them guys,” he said.

This post had been shared well over 3,000 times a day after it was posted.

Johannesburg pastor Mzwakhe Tancredi and his wife Charisma, of New Life Church,  followed suit.

“Charisma and I went out and bought goods from street hawkers and vendors around Vanderbijlpark and some had to close since we bought everything they were selling. We then donated what we bought,” he said.

This was only one of the initiatives that the pastor and his wife had embarked on.

Earlier this week, they put out a call on social media for all their congregants who would be hard hit by the lockdown to let them know.

“Parents with two or more children who have no income and all New Life members who are not working or do not have any source of income are advised to send their personal details via WhatsApp ... so that necessary aid will be provided.

“We have created a contact line for our members who are street vendors to register so that we can give necessary support as the church. This will then mean all our members will be encouraged to support all those New Life members who are street vendors,” they said.

Other people have also embarked on missions to buy groceries for the less fortunate.

Motso Naledi ya Bopape took to her Facebook page to say: “We shared the little we had. Hopefully this will put the families who are in need right now at ease about their next meal at least,” she said.

Her post was accompanied by pictures of meal packs they had put together comprising of essentials such as vegetables, mealie meal, canned foods, tea, sugar, salt, cooking oil, sausages and bars of soap. `