Street vendors in the Pietermaritzburg CBD have declared war on Msunduzi Municipality.
This is because the municipality has ordered them to stop operating in the city centre, claiming they make it dirty and cause crime.
Hawker Busisiwe Ngema (54) said she had been selling hats in the CBD since 1994 and had a permit to operate.
“We asked them where we should go because we have been here for years.“They didn’t give us an answer but just told us to leave,” she said.
Busisiwe said she was the breadwinner in her family and looked after her unemployed 26-year-old daughter and two grandchildren.
“I don’t know how we will get food if I can no longer work as a street vendor.”
Nonhlanhla Dhlomo (45), a trader who has been operating in the area since 1990, said officials told them the cops would remove them if they didn’t leave.
“We are ready for them. We are prepared to fight because this is how we feed our children.”
Municipal spokeswoman Thobeka Mafumbatha confirmed vendors had been asked to leave the CBD.
“However, those who have permits will be moved somewhere else.“We don’t know where we’ll take them yet,” she said.
She said vendors would be called to a meeting to tell them which areas they could operate in.