Street vendors have successfully petitioned Gaborone City Council (GCC) against its recent decision to force them to vacate the market stalls for maintenance.
Gaborone City Council had given street vendors 5 days to vacate the market for maintenance from Monday 21st June until the 6th of September this year.
City Council oversees 3 market stalls, namely Gaborone West, Bus rank and BBS.
Street vendors had complained that city council had given them short notice.
Gaborone City Council Mayor Father Maphongo said the decision has been reversed because tenants were not given enough time to leave their stalls.
“A decision has been taken by the collective leadership of the council to reverse our initial stance because there were complaints and we had to listen” said Maphongo.
He further said Gaborone City Council will continue to engage all relevant stakeholders to ensure that tenants are not disadvantaged, also indicating that it is government commitment to ensure that market stalls are properly looked after.
A street vendor Neo Kenalemang said she had lost hope again after a long business hiatus in the early outbreak of covid-19.
Kenalemang highlighted that vacating the market only meant that she will struggle to put food on the table.
“We are excited that GCC has reversed its decision because it was a short notice, we will now wait for them to give us proper notice so that we can also prepare” said Kenalemang.
Kenalemang however said she is worried about the period of maintenance, adding that during, they will now have to look for an alternative venture.
On the other hand, another market stall occupant Khumiso Mooketsi said although maintenance of the stalls is long overdue, city council should have long embarked on the exercise, saying that now is not a good time as her business is still recovering from Covid 19 impact.
“I am worried because Gaborone City Council hardly consult us yet they always expect market rent from us, so that is unfair” said Mooketsi.
Mooketsi also pleaded with city council to reduce the amount of time it intends to take, adding that they have nowhere to go.