Gaborone City Council has evicted┬ávendors from┬áits stalls around the city for failure to pay┬átheir monthly rents. The most affected area has been the Gaborone┬áBus Station where┬á22 out of┬á40 stalls┬áhave been closed.
The eviction has since┬ábeen confirmed by the┬áGCC┬áPublic Relations Officer, Seeletso ┬áLekgaba, who┬ádefended the action saying they swung into action after all efforts to get the┬ávendors to pay failed.
“We have persuaded┬áand┬áeven threatened them┬áthat┬áthey should pay┬átheir rentals┬ábut all that┬áhas failed and┬áthe Council then resolved that those who┬áhave not paid should be evicted and that is what we have done,” Lekgaba said.
The eviction has been received with┬ámixed feelings┬áfrom┬ámembers of the public┬áand other vendors with some sympathetic whilst others said the vendors deserved what they got. ┬á
Lesego Kube, who sells┬áfrom the┬ápavements in front of┬áone of the closed stalls┬ásays that┬áthose who were evicted only have themselves to blame because they have failed to do what is expected of them.
“They were lucky to have got the stalls in the first place┬áwhilst some of us are selling on the streets. They should pay or else get┬áout and let┬áothers┬álike me who are┬áprepared┬áto pay rent┬ásell from the stalls,” she said.
Another street vendor, Tshepho┬áBosigo, said those who have been evicted┬áwere very selfish people who were making┬áa lot of money selling from the stalls but were not prepared to pay their rent. ┬á
“GCC should not be blamed for having evicted them; they deserve it┬áand I see them as selfish people┬áwho want to keep all the money for themselves whilst the owner of the place they are┬áoperating from gets nothing,” she said.
Even worse,┬áTshepho says, is the fact that┬ásome of them, rather than running businesses themselves, are instead renting them out to people and illegally making profit.
But another vendor,┬áFrank┬áBakani, feels that the Council had been very cruel and should have taught the vendors the importance of paying rent rather than evicting them in these times when jobs are difficult to come by. ┬á
“I think this was a cruel act. The┬ácouncil should have found a┬ábetter way of handling the situation,” he said.