Marthina Mutanga & Samuel Shinedhima
VENDORS at the renowned Oshetu Community Market at the single quarters, commonly known as “Kapana” have expressed their unhappiness towards the market’s current modus operandi that was brought about by the COVID-19 outbreak.
The vendors were allowed to return to their stalls after the initial State of Emergency came to an end and some of the regulations were relaxed allowing them to partially revive their business.
Despite the relaxation of these regulations, especially on traders that sell essential goods and those that provide critical services, on which restaurants and other business of the same nature were given the green light to provide their full service to clients on limited trading hours, and allowing customers to sit and eat, this privilege has, unfortunately, not been enjoyed but the Oshetu Community Market vendors since most of the regulation have been relaxed.
The distraught vendors expressed disappointment at the removal of chairs and tables from their market and said that the move severely affected their profit margins.
They also said that watching a client walking away after telling them that there are no chairs to sit, steals their morale and courage to continue in business.
“If we tell a client that we don’t have chairs and that they should just stand and eat, they simply walk away and go buy at places that have chairs. It’s not good! If restaurants are allowing people to sit and eat, why not us,” one concerned vendor said.
Moreover, the Oshetu Community Market vendors indicated that they have been in compliance with the regulations put in place in order to fight the deadly COVID-19 pandemic and that they will still continue to adhere to the regulations and observe all measures.
However, they are convinced that fair treatment of all businesses should be applied, as they too have expenses to cover just like those operating in restaurants.
Part of their expenses is the monthly fees that have to pay to the City of Windhoek to occupy the stalls at the open market.