The Big Issue magazine could soon be a thing of the past unless it receives help from local companies and consumers.
The magazine’s managing director, Trudy Vlok, has appealed for assistance, especially from corporate bodies.
“The Big Issue is about reach its 200th edition, which is a major achievement for any publication, let alone one linked to an NGO.
“However, as the economic situation continues to worsen, funds are drying up and we need more help.”
The Big Issue provided development for the many vendors across the city, she said. “We have between 1 500 and 2 000 people dependent on the Big Issue. This includes the vendors and their families.”
Big Issue vendors purchase the magazine for R9 every 21 days. They then sell it to motorists at traffic lights or shoppers in malls for R18.
They can also enhance their lives through the Big Issue.
“We offer training to our vendors, not only for the selling but also teach them other skills. We have been able to place many vendors in various workplaces across the Cape, which has allowed them to become independent,” Vlok said.
In the 15 years since the magazine was launched, she said, more than 17 000 people had been helped and over R17 million had been earned.
She added that the plea for funding was to ensure the magazine continued its work in developing communities across the city.
“We are not asking for handouts; we are… appealing to corporate bodies and offering them partnerships that will see both parties benefit and companies that donate towards to the Big Issue will receive full tax benefits.”
The 200th edition of the Big Edition will hit the streets on August 23.
Joseph Kink, who has been a Big Issue vendor since 1998, loves being part of the initiative and hopes to continue selling the magazine.
“I believe in hard work and I will be at my pitch, all around Hout Bay, until my legs give way.”