Vendors thoroughly beaten at Home Affairs centre

vendorPRETORIA - Enterprising immigrant Zimbabweans who were earning a living through selling various small commodities at the Tshwane Interim Refugee Reception Centre (TIRRO) in Pretoria have found themselves jobless, many with broken and sore limbs as the private security company hired for crowd management at the centre has launched a callous clampdown on all vending activities.<

The Zimbabwean this week witnessed marauding security guards from Ubuntu Security flogging a number of wretched young vendors, using clenched fists and baton sticks, who were accused of selling foodstuffs to asylum seekers.

The security personnel told The Zimbabwean that the vendors are making the place filthy and make their crowd management efforts very difficult, as most of the vendors are engaged in mugging and touting activities.

As thousands of asylum seekers continue to flock to the TIRRO, many spending days sleeping outside the premise at night, a window of opportunity had presented itself to the enterprising vendors who sold anything from ice cream to sadza.

The vendors lamented to The Zimbabwean that they are being condemned to a life of extreme poverty, as the formal jobs market has become too flooded in South Africa, owing to the large number of people from all walks of life who are attracted by the countrys sound economic policy stability and perceived general rule of law.

I fled Zimbabwe in 2008 to try and work for my family here, but now I do not know how I can survive because vending is the only business I have done, said one vendor, Lloyd Muchena as he sat under a tree, wondering what the future holds for him.

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