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Hawkers march as Zuma unveils manifesto

Politics

Rustenburg - Angry hawkers protested at the launch of the African National Congress election manifesto in Phokeng, outside Rustenburg, on Sunday.

“We want the president (Jacob Zuma) to be aware of the corrupt situation in the Rustenburg local municipality,” said chairperson of the Kgetsie Ya Tsie Hawkers' Association Geoff Moeletsi.

He said hawkers were not happy that the municipality had destroyed their stalls last month.

“We believe the stalls were destroyed to hide the low level of service delivery in this area,” he said.

They wanted Zuma to intervene before they took the law into their own hands.

ANC provincial secretary Kabelo Mataboge told hawkers that he would meet with their leaders in a bid to resolve whatever problem they might have.

“We will be meeting with your leaders on Monday to understand the nature of your problem... All people concerned in this matter will be called,” said Mataboge.

He allowed hawkers to stage a silent protest at the stadium, provided they would not disrupt the rally.

However, while hawkers were proceeding to the stadium, the police stopped them and asked them to leave because they did not have a permit to protest.

Hawkers’ stands along the Sun Phokeng road were adorned with placards.

“We are totally angry,” read one placard.

Another read “We are tired”, relating to the demolition of stalls.

Moeletsi said hawkers were merely trying to make a living by trading informally at the taxi ranks.

“You cannot postpone hunger... We are trying to make a living,” he said. - Sapa

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