In an open letter, Rosheda Muller, President of South African Informal Traders Alliance (SAITA), has called on governments to support informal traders in South Africa, while acknowledging the need for severe measures to contain the infection.
Our sector arguably will be the hardest hit. Any halt or suspension of trade would be catastrophic to the livelihoods of thousands upon thousands of informal workers and their families. Unlike the public and private sector, there is no safety net for us. We will literally be left out to dry, unless government intervenes and provides some form of assistance. … we request immediate monetary relief to assist in compensating informal workers whose economic activities have been curtailed and/or forced to cease
Muller reminds the government that the informal business sector encompasses close to one third of the employed community in South Africa and makes a major contribution to GDP. She also stresses the need for governments to work WITH informal worker organizations to create emergency plans for assistance and for measures intended to slow the spread of the coronavirus in markets.