The Street Vendor.
The street vendor sits in his make-shift tin shelter across from the construction site. The stall has walls and a roof of corrugated iron. The front is open to the street, and has a wooden plank for a counter. The vendor himself is a black man in his late thirties. He is clean, but his clothes are well worn.
On the wooden plank counter he displays his goods. He has a container with loose cigarettes. There are two brands; a cheap local brand and 'Peter Stuyvesant'. The cigarettes cost one Rand each. He has various baskets with fruit. There are bananas, apples and oranges. He also sells small plastic packets of corn crisps and peanuts. Most of his products are about one Rand each.
If you should ask him, he will inform you that he sells no drinks or cold drinks. He does not have adequate storage facilities to keep them cold. He passes the day sitting in the shade of the shack, and waiting for customers. All the construction workers inside the new development know him, and many buy from him during the course of the day. He makes a living this way. All day he sits and waits. He is a very patient man.
A customer walks over from the construction site. He is a labourer. He asks for a packet of crisps, and a loose draw. The vendor gives it to him, and asks him two Rand in exchange. The labourer pays him, and walks off back to his place of work. Then he relaxes back into his seat, and awaits the next client.
The vendor spends the afternoon in this fashion, until it becomes late and the sun begins to set. Then he packs his goods in a few boxes and waits for his transport. Tomorrow he will be doing the same again.
Copyright ' JP Brown 29/12/2006.