Pi­rate goods edge out traders

The Sunday Independent - - NEWS - ROLAND MPOFU

KWA-MAI Mai, in down­town Joburg, used to be the cen­tre of at­ten­tion with cul­tural mar­kets and ac­tiv­i­ties. Tourist buses used to come and go on any week­end and busi­ness was thriv­ing for the mini mar­ket spe­cial­is­ing in tra­di­tional clothes.

But these days the once buzzing mar­ket has gone quiet be­cause busi­ness has been taken away by “for­eign­ers” who ped­dle fake goods at low prices in the streets of the CBD.

A stall owner, Mama Zandile Mkhize, who spe­cialises in Zulu gar­ments and ac­ces­sories, lamented the de­cline in cus­tomer num­bers and blamed for­eign­ers for killing her busi­ness.

“Dur­ing this time of the month (of Septem­ber) we used to get a lot of cus­tomers com­ing to buy tra­di­tional at­tire for Her­itage Day. And we used to get a lot of or­ders from peo­ple out­side the prov­ince but all this has changed be­cause of fake goods sold along Mar­ket and Troye streets.

“Here we de­sign and craft prod­ucts and we sell orig­i­nal clothes. You find that I sell my Zulu san­dals for R150 or R200 a pair but when you go to Mar­ket Street you will get a fake one be­ing sold for R40 or R50.

“Some of us will be clos­ing down our shops if the gov­ern­ment does not do some­thing to get rid of these peo­ple who are sell­ing pi­rated prod­ucts,” said Mkhize.

An­other stall owner, Zandile Khoza, said Her­itage Day is not all about tra­di­tional clothes. “For me Her­itage Day means pro­mot­ing unity in our di­ver­sity by cel­e­brat­ing our dif­fer­ent cul­tures, art­work, mu­sic and so on,” she said.

Her­itage Day is ob­served an­nu­ally to en­cour­age all South Africans to cel­e­brate their cul­ture and to part­ner in build­ing so­cial co­he­sion and na­tion-build­ing.

In Gaut­eng, Premier David Makhura will ad­dress the pro­vin­cial Her­itage Day com­mem­o­ra­tions. The premier will lead the Gaut­eng So­cial Co­he­sion Car­ni­val pa­rade at the City of Tsh­wane in part­ner­ship with all mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties and stake­hold­ers within the Gaut­eng City Re­gion.

The pil­grim­age will see over 25 000 par­tic­i­pants from dif­fer­ent sec­tors of so­ci­ety unite in a cel­e­bra­tion of unity in di­ver­sity. The 6.7km pa­rade will start at noon at the Tsh­wane Events Cen­tre and make its way around the cap­i­tal city be­fore end­ing at the events cen­tre.

The day will end in a spec­tac­u­lar fes­ti­val of food and live cul­tural mu­sic, cul­tural dances, pantsula dancers and per­for­mances from dif­fer­ent gen­res of DJs per­form­ing on four dif­fer­ent stages at the same venue.

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