Slow start for Claremont traders

Trader Lyle McLaurie.

Dreyer Street Market traders say they are happy to be back, despite business being slower than usual.

Like many other businesses, the vendors were forced to stop trading when the national lockdown kicked in, but they have gradually been returning with the easing of restrictions.

Last week, 26 of the 36 vendors were back outside of Cavendish Square, but they were wearing masks and there were sanitisers at all stalls.

They said the last two months under level 5 and level 4 restrictions had been very hard as they had earned no income. They hoped business would pick up as more shops in the mall opened.

Trader Lyle McLaurie, of Claremont, said he had had to adapt because much of what he usually sold was non-essential. So he, like many other vendors, is now selling masks and face shields.

“Everyone is just trying to survive,” he said.

Angela Simpson, of Hanover Park, has a second-hand stall, and saw no income for two months. She said her sales depended on whether she had items people really wanted, but she said she had found it hard to source stock right now.

Narriman Filender, of Ronde-bosch East, said her jewellery business had been slow with fewer feet at the mall. She has been trading at the market for 25 years.

“I’m currently depending on my month-end customers as my business is more of a need than a want.”

It was hard being back, and she was taking it day by day, she said.

Jody Spira, from Plumstead, however, said her flower stall had slowly gained momentum as many people who were still at home were taking to working in their gardens.

“It’s a big relief to be back and to see that business has been improving,” she said.

Wendy Conway, who has a book stall, was also glad to be back at work. She said everyone had been obeying the level 3 regulations.

Market manager Sharon Rome said they were happy to be up and running again, and called on the public to support the traders during a difficult period.