Pirate goods edge out traders
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.