Report by the President of the IEDF. Rosheda Müller,


 

2022 has been a year of intense re-adjustment for informal businesses across the country. Coming on the back of the devastating
Covid pandemic, which in itself almost decimated the informal economy, informal workers and micro businesses could do little more than pick up the pieces of their lives, literally shake themselves off, and re-take the reigns as they struggled through 2022. But, being the resilient lot that we are, we stand ready to face anything that 2023 throws at us.

 

This is not to say that our challenges have been minimized, or that the road to prosperity has been cleared of land mines. Unfortunately, the status quo prevails, and we have to traverse through them to reach some semblance of success. And the ever-rising costs of living has not augured well for millions of our informal incumbents either. Millions are now forced to live at a notch above the poverty datum line. But, without a doubt, load-shedding continues to suck the lifeblood from micro businesses, particularly those in manufacturing, exacerbating an already untenable state of affairs.

 

My colleagues and I in the IEDF are painfully aware of the situation across all sectors of
the informal economy, and we share
their concerns. Therefore, we have made it our mission to reach as many informal businesspersons as
we can, ascertain their circumstances, and see how we as an NPO can assist in facilitating progressive
interventions that would change their lives for the better. Again,
this would apply
equally across all sub-sectors of the informal economy.

 

Insofar as
informal traders are concerned, I must refer the reader to the resolution
emanating from the 55th.
National Conference of the ANC recently, which speaks to the question of permit and trading
fees. It was resolved to push for the scrapping of these fees. Now, commendable as it may seem, I,
along with many leaders in the informal trading arena have assumed a position of cautious optimism. Until and unless
legislation to that effect is promulgated, this resolution will be
just another gust of hot air. Rest assured,
the IEDF will keep this
issue burning.

 

My message to my
colleagues across this fair land is: in spite of our struggles, our challenges, and our concerns, remember, there is a
loving GOD who has promised never to give you a burden you cannot
overcome. Pray for each other,
pray for our country, and place your trust in those
in whom you have confidence and trust.

May 2023 be good in all its manifestations, and may we all grow stronger going forward.

 

Thank you. Rosheda
Müller