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Ezulwini vendors clash over stall allocations
By FAITH SHONGWE - SWAZI TIMES-21-Sep-2009
EZULWINI – A meeting to officially hand over keys to the newly developed market stalls situated at Ezulwini, to the handicraft vendors turned chaotic when the vendors clashed over the stall allocation.
This transpired during a meeting held at the Swaziland Trading House (Greyhound) on Saturday between Ezulwini Town Board, the vendors and the developers of the new market stalls. The stalls were developed by Du Van Developers (PTY) Ltd and Swazi MTN. The vendors are expected to move to the new site adjacent to the Swaziland Trading House, to make way for the new developments; the Shopping Complex and the MTN Headquarters.
Speaking during the meeting, Ezulwini Town Board’s Inspector of Works Dumisa Zwane said a total of 126 stalls were built for the vendors and each vendor would be given two keys to their stall, while the Town Board would keep one key. “We invited all vendors to register for stall allocation a while back and a total of 140 have registered and we are here to allocate the stalls to those who have already registered,” he said.
However, tempers flared when it was time to decide how the stalls would be allocated. While some of the vendors believed that if a vendor occupied stall number one, for instance, at the old site, that vendor should be allocated the same number at the new site while other vendors believed that there should be change. A total of 63 vendors wanted the whole set up of the stall allocation to be changed, while 75 vendors wanted to keep their stall numbers when they move to the new site.
The clash took almost an hour to solve, as the Ezulwini Town Board, the developers and the police tried out different strategies to get to a suitable solution. “The main idea behind us moving is to unite all vendors and stop this division that had caused so many problems in the past. Some of us feel intimidated by others here, maybe even our neighbours intimidate us, so I believe that in order to prevent any further intimidation, each and every one of us should be given a piece of paper to write down whatever they feel would be in the best interest of all of us,” said one of the vendors.
However, this suggestion was quickly dismissed by another vendor who wondered what good that strategy would bring.
A final decision was finally taken and the minority was given the first option to choose between the lower and the upper end of the site. They chose to take the upper end of the site. The keys were given to the vendor’s representatives and all vendors would keep their original stall numbers
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