Hawkers vent anger over ‘dirty’ rank

HAWKERS who sell food, fruit and vegetables at King William’s Town’s main taxi rank claim the Buffalo City Metro Municipality is doing nothing to clean up the area.

FED UP: Hawkers are angry at the filthy and decaying state of the main taxi rank in King William’s Town Picture: THEMBELA NDLUMBINI

The distraught sellers have asked the metro to do its job and clean up the “dirty rank”, which they claimed has been piling up with litter for many years without being cleaned.

Spokesperson for a group of female hawkers, Setyenzwa Raxoti, 62, said the littering at the taxi rank had become unbearable.

Raxoti, who originally hails from Zone 6 in Zwelitsha Township, said she started selling fruit and vegetables at the rank in 1977, and the place was clean at the time.

“Now this place looks like a pigsty,” she said.

“You can’t cook food in a place as dirty as this one.

“Before the conditions deteriorated here, our businesses were doing very well but now our customers have run away and told us they can’t buy because of this dirty place,” Raxoti said.

She said some members of the public used the rank as a toilet, which left it smelly.

“As King Williams Town businesswomen and hawkers, we have been staying in this bad smelling place since 2012 and the municipality does not clean it very well,” Raxoti said

“Some hawkers, especially those selling food, have left for other places to sell.

“The women also complained about vagrants and street children who sleep in the place at night and make fires that could burn property,” Raxoti said.

While The GO! reporter was busy interviewing the hawkers, Raxoti showed him a young man who was urinating against the wall.

“We have made many requests at the municipality offices in King Williams Town to clean that place like other areas in our town, but nothing has been done.

“It is the job of the municipality to clean the streets and taxi ranks.

”The hawkers also requested the police and inspectors to patrol the rank and hawkers’ stalls and the police must also patrol at night to prevent them from being vandalised,” she said.

“Vagrants and street kids must stop sleeping there and urinating. Nobody must be allowed to litter in the area. Those who break the law must be arrested or pay admission of guilty,” the hawkers said.

“We are selling food, fruit and vegetables to make an income to support our families. The municipality must do its job,” they said.

When approached for comment earlier this week, Buffalo City spokesperson Thandy Matebese said the taxi rank was on schedule to be cleaned as cleaning staff were working according to a set schedule.

However, Matebese could not specify the exact date of the scheduled cleaning, as the schedule was not in his office, but in another.

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