Women in­for­mal traders turn Manzini into first 24-hour town

Observer on Saturday - - News - By Sizwe Dlamini

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.

Sizwe Dlamini) (Pics:

YOU SEE: Rep­re­sen­ta­tive of the Manzini Mu­nic­i­pal Coun­cil Zweli Maphanga ad­dress­ing the meet­ing.

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