Street vendors sell all manner of items to make ends meet; a group of 14 homeless second-hand booksellers were given the opportunity to survive lockdown.
Durban, South Africa (08 June 2020) – So many South Africans have faced the risk of losing everything during the lockdown. For many, adapting to the new world was the only way to survive. But what happens to the homeless vendors that survive off foot traffic to earn an income?
Micromega Publications knew that at least 14 homeless booksellers would severely suffer from the lockdown regulations. They earn their income by selling books on the roadsides, but with nobody using the roads, their businesses wouldn’t survive.
To combat this, Micromega Publications invited the homeless vendors to sell their stocks online. This would soften the blow of significant income losses. The booksellers are supported by “Booksellers of Mzansi”, a collaborative project by the Denis Hurley Centre and Micromega Publications that allows homeless people around Durban to sell second-hand books to earn an income.
Anivesh Singh, the founder of “Made in Chatsworth”, an e-commerce website, thought that by placing their books online, he could help them through this time. It worked! They were able to raise R16,000.00 for the booksellers.
“Thanks to your generous support, we managed to raise just over R16,000 for the booksellers. This money has now been distributed to them.
“Thank you! Your purchases and donations have provided hope, inspiration and nourishment to 14 very special people.”
One of the sellers said he didn’t understand the online platform but that he was grateful for Anivesh’s help in generating much-needed income. Thankfully the relaxed restrictions in level three will allow the booksellers to sell their stock themselves once again.
“As we move forward and into level 3 of lockdown, the booksellers will be able to sell books in their usual spots. We will keep a selection of their books online and require that they put in more effort to market their online stock. Going forward, they will be able to sell their wares not only on the streets and in malls but on cyberspace, too,” – Anivesh Singh