Street vendors in Johannesburg’s CBD face significant challenges due to the recent supermarket egg rationing. Retail stores across South Africa have limited the number of eggs customers can purchase, citing concerns about an avian flu outbreak. According to EWN, this limitation has resulted in a shortage of eggs, making it exceptionally tough for street vendors in the inner city to run their businesses smoothly.
Due to the egg shortage, vendors specialising in selling breakfast dishes and scones are finding it increasingly difficult to source this essential ingredient. Shelves in local stores are often empty, forcing these vendors to adapt to the scarcity of eggs.
One such vendor, Vuvu Hlatshwayo, who relies on her bakery business as her sole source of income, expressed her struggles finding eggs over the past two weeks. Despite the significantly higher prices, she has resorted to purchasing eggs from informal spaza shops in the inner city.
Hlatshwayo explained, “I bake buckets of scones a day, so I can’t afford to only buy six eggs. I end up buying from the tuckshops, which are selling at an extremely high price.”
The ongoing avian flu outbreak has cast uncertainty over when the situation will improve, leaving many vendors concerned about the future of their businesses. There is a recent spotlight on food safety standards following the tragic deaths of five children from alleged food poisoning after consuming products bought from spaza shops. It adds another layer of complexity to the challenges faced by these street vendors.
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