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Councillor saves the day for informal traders
​Ward 18 Councillor Melanie Brauteseth (extreme right)
flanked by smiles from happy street traders.

NEW hope and relief was brought to more than 300 Pinetown street vendors when ward 18 Councillor Melanie Brauteseth took it upon herself to seek aid for traders who lost their entire stock in a fire that ravaged their informal storage on 24 July.

Councillor Brauteseth said various retail items were obtained for the vendors and a council-owned building in Hill Street has been identified by the City to be set up as a temporary storage while a detailed plan on how the space will be utilised is being worked out. “On 26 July about 250 vendors came to the Pinetown Civic Centre to receive temporary support from City Hope Disaster Relief.

Among the things that were handed over to them to retail were new baby clothes, toothbrushes, cosmetics and food items,” she said. Councillor Brauteseth said she contacted the Robin Hood Foundation which, in turn, reached out to the City Hope Disaster Relief organisation and sought relief for the fire victims. She said she was alerted to the fire by residents who live near the rank on Anderson Road, after they were woken by a loud explosion that came from the vendors’ storages.

A fire started by vagrants along the railway line to keep warm is suspected to have been the source of the blaze that ravaged over R300 000 worth of stock in the storages, she added. Community members have also come on board to offer assistance and further donations have been promised by the City Hope Disaster Relief. “The date for the next handover will soon be announced, I know I cannot replace all the items that was burnt but I am calling on all community organisations and appealing to the public to contribute any assistance that they can, in order to get these residents back in business as this is how most of them feed their families,” she said.

zabanguni.khuzwayo@durban.gov.za

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