Coronavirus slows down trade in Joburg CBD

Many trade areas in the Johannesburg CBD, such as this clothing market near the Wanderers Street Taxi Rank, experienced fewer customers than usual as coronavirus threat continues to rise. /Thulani Mbele
Many trade areas in the Johannesburg CBD, such as this clothing market near the Wanderers Street Taxi Rank, experienced fewer customers than usual as coronavirus threat continues to rise. /Thulani Mbele

It was not business as usual in the Johannesburg CBD as informal traders opted not to set up their stands but instead to clean their working environment.

Pavements that are usually full of patrons and food vendors. Clothing stalls and hair salons were empty as the few pedestrians who ventured into town walked by.

The traders heeded the government's call to keep their surrounding clean to help curb the spread of coronavirus. Early in the morning they swept the pavements along the streets surrounding the Noord and Wanderers streets taxi ranks.

Diamond Zulu, 39, who owns a clothing stall said business people were taking precaution to help curb the spread of the virus.

"We cleaned on our own, we woke up and swept the streets. We were asked by the metro police not to open today but to clean. We were told that government people will come and give us cleaning material but no one came but we still cleaned. See how clean it is, we are all scared of this disease," Zulu said.

Margaret McDonald, a shop assistant, said government needs to shut down the country before there are fatalities.

"People are going to die. Ramaphosa must shut down the country.

"I'm wearing gloves and a mask to protect myself, and we sanitise everyone that comes in. Some people complain and say we accuse them of being sick but if they don't want to sanitise, we don't allow them in," McDonald said.

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