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Oct. 28, 2021

EDITOR

2 min read

Govt should be swift in helping hawkers

Govt should be swift in helping hawkers

Story highlights

  • Scores of street vendors are yet to receive their funds
  • Officials are already trying to manipulate payments system

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THE Ministry of Small Business Cooperatives and Marketing should really level the playing field to allow for procession of delayed COVID-19 Relief Fund payments to street vendors.

It is amazing that to date, scores of street vendors in the country are yet to receive their COVID-19 Relief Funds almost a year after the fund was established.

This goes on to demonstrate the level of incompetence within government ministries.

According to the representatives of the street vendors’ association, they have done everything in their power to try and solicit collaboration with the official from the said ministry. However, it seems the officials are not willing to cooperate.

This raises eyebrows as to what could be the main reasons for officials’ lack of willingness to cooperate with players in the informal sector.

First thing that comes to mind obviously is that these officials are already trying to manipulate systems to find ways on how to illegally benefit from the funds or sabotage the minister responsible.

Our plea to the minister is for him to make effort and ensure that the poor people who are still trying to establish themselves in business are duly subsidised.

Almost in every business forum, government keeps on encouraging people to start businesses and not entirely rely on employment. But the same government has failed for a long time to assist small business holders to establish themselves in business.

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Those that have been able to start around the streets of Maseru and elsewhere have unfortunately been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic and some are already out of business as we speak.

Instead of delivering these small amounts of relief funds, the very same government that keeps on advocating entrepreneurship is failing to ensure that the street vendors are helped in order to mitigate the effects of the pandemic.

To the hawkers, we would urge them to keep on fighting for what they deserve and not allow government with its ignorant officials to sabotage their livelihoods.

They should do everything it takes to force the government to take action regarding this matter. It has been proven in recent years that the government only takes action after a series of protests by those in need.

Red tapes in government services should really be addressed in order to avoid unnecessary inconsistencies in future.

Otherwise people will always have to fight to get services.      

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