Women informal traders turn Manzini into first 24-hour town
Representative of the Manzini Municipal Council Zweli Maphanga has said informal traders are turning the city into the first fully operational 24-hour town in Swaziland.
Maphanga was speaking at a dialogue hosted by Women and Law Swaziland at The George Hotel in Manzini yesterday. The dialogue consisted of presidents of the various informal trader groups in Swaziland as well as representatives of the various town councils in Swaziland.
Maphanga said informal traders, who were mostly women, were shaping Manzini in new and exciting ways. “Informal traders who are mostly women are helping Manzini develop as we know that so many of the women go through hardships because they often get back from purchasing stock in foreign countries like Mozambique and South Africa late.
“Their buses arrive at the Manzini bus rank at night, leaving the traders unsafe as there is no place for them to sleep also there are no open public toilets, so in an effort to help our informal traders the Manzini Town Council has started to keep public toilets open till 10pm.
“This allows the women to use the toilets in privacy and safely, the open toilets will allow other business people to keep their businesses open till late. It is also a knock-on effect that will in time turn Manzini into the first town in Swaziland that never sleeps with businesses that stay open for 24 hours,” he said.
Already Futi’s Chicken Cottage in Manzini was awarded a 24-hour trading licence and this was made possible by the informal traders who approached us with their problems of safety in Manzini,” he added.
Organiser of the event, National Director of Woman and Law Swaziland Xolani Hlatshwayo said they were committed to see women’s rights upheld in all areas.
“We see information as a key ingredient to making life better for women in all sectors. The law stands for equal rights for all genders and as an organisation we will continue to give women a platform to express their concerns,” she said.
BAPHATSI: The dialogue consisted of presidents of the various informal trader groups in Swaziland as well as representatives of the various town councils at The George Hotel in Manzini yesterday.
YOU SEE: Representative of the Manzini Municipal Council Zweli Maphanga addressing the meeting.