Picture: Gcina Ndwalane.
Picture: Gcina Ndwalane.
281107 Christmas decorations at Southgate shopping mall.01
Picture: Matthews Baloyi
281107 Christmas decorations at Southgate shopping mall.01 Picture: Matthews Baloyi

Johannesburg - Joburg traders seem to agree on one thing this festive season – business is anything but booming.

With a drop in visitors at arts and crafts markets, traders said sales were dropping as more people were leaving the city to go on holiday, and those who did visit their stalls did not make substantial buys.

“Today (yesterday) is not going very well. It is actually quiet. This time during December is usually busy, particularly on Sundays, but it has been very slow lately,” said a trader at the African Craft Market in Rosebank who gave his name as Shumba.

Shumba’s stall sells a variety of crafts, including beaded necklaces and bracelets, and wooden animal sculptures.

Two stalls away from Shumba is Decante Kunda’s stall, also displaying crafts he said he collected from suppliers from Mali, Kenya, Madagascar and Tanzania.

Wooden animal sculptures sell for anything between R200 and R800, and his priciest item is an ebony sculpture of a couple, which he is currently marketing at R14 000.

“I’ve been here for over 10 years… sometimes business goes up, sometimes it goes down. But the economy is currently not so good, so we have fewer foreigners coming into the country and buying our products. Business is slow,” he said, returning to the front of his stall in the hope of attracting the handful of people walking through the market.

The atmosphere was much the same at the open market along John Adamson Street at Franklin Roosevelt Park.

Traders sat on camp chairs beside their stalls yesterday afternoon waiting for prospective buyers.

“Last weekend was busy but it is quiet now. We aren’t seeing many people coming through,” said Betsy Cowdy.

Jan Makwe, however, seemed far from being short of business, with his camel rides proving to be a hit among visitors to the market. - The Star