Pretoria CBD vegeatable seller perseveres under lockdown

By Chelsea Ntuli Time of article published May 20, 2020

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Pretoria - Breadwinner and entrepreneur Gift Mabasa who sells vegetables in Pretoria's CBD decided to take the delivery route and bring the vegetables to his customers. 

After being forced off the streets due to regulations he was unable to go back to town where police were strict about permits and took stock away from most street vendors.

Mabasa said he started selling vegetables in 2010 while he was still in high school and continued to do so after his mother passed away. He said he lived with his younger brother in Soshanguve and together they run the business to generate income.

“After my mother’s passing we struggled financially at home because she was our breadwinner. Like any young man who hustles to put bread on the table I continued to sell vegetables because I knew the ins and outs and it helped us get by,” he said. 

He explained that he does not always come back with the same profit and some days are harder than most. With little movement from people at the early stages of the lockdown it allowed him to introduce delivery services where he charged R15 per delivery. He said he promoted his services on social media which brought him a lot of customers. 

He said as the lockdown eased fewer people made use of his services which discouraged him for a while however he still persevered and sold outside his home. Last week he spent R2000 on his stock and tried to continue operating in town however he was warned by the police to pack up and leave.

“I tried to get a permit but we were told that it was full and that they could not give more people permits. Now I am sitting with all this stock and it feels like I lost a lot of money. I am even thinking I should give the vegetables away to people who need them most before they rot,” he said.

A silver lining rose from his situation when a passerby asked for his help for a food donation initiative. He said he considered helping the young lady who so that his efforts don't go to waste.

“I still push myself as much as I can because at the end of the day me and my brother can't go to bed with an empty stomach. Even though it's tough and there are challenges, this business has helped me survive and I believe after lockdown things will get better,” he said.

He said he was still available for delivery services and will continue selling outside his home. He can be reached on 079 400 4645 where people can place their orders.

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