Saturday, October 29, 2011

an upside-down world

Here's an odd counter-narrative. The hawkers who sell grilled meat at Marina Glen Park, in the South African coastal city of East London, are pleading with the municipality for increased regulation. Why? Well, as The Dispatch reports, "opportunists"--who the article identifies as teachers, government employees and others--have been poaching on the hawkers' turf, setting up their own stalls to do braaing (as grilling is called in local patois.) The increased competition is apparently steeply curtailing the profits of longer-term hawkers.

“These people have jobs, they are being paid salaries, but they come here to make even more money while putting us out of business,” Mambamba Mnwana, chair of the Ebuhlanti Hawkers Association, told The Dispatch.

So the unlicensed hawkers have petitioned City Hall to monitor their business and protect their incomes. A spokesman for Buffalo City Municipality, as the East London political apparatus is known, said some of the issues the hawkers raised were compelling.

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