Informal Glenwood #1: Mongi the Fruit Vendor

Glenwood’s informal vendors provide both convenience and savings for residents. In order to spotlight these unsung and often maligned contributions, the Glenwood Collective will be interviewing local individuals active within the informal sector. Check back weekly for a new profile and an ongoing conversation about how we can be a stronger and more inclusive community.


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This week we focus on the fruit/snack vendor, a common site within the CBD, but an established presence along Brand Road and other parts of Glenwood as well. Meet Mongi, she’s originally from Jozini, and her stall has been a familiar site behind Davenport Centre for over two years.

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GC: What types of things do you sell?

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Mongi: Mostly snacks (fruit, peanuts, crisps), as well as cool drinks and cigarettes.

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GC: How has your business changed in the two years you’ve been here?

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Mongi: When I started here I was just selling fruit, but slowly I’ve added other products. Cigarettes especially have been really successful for me. They are my best seller.

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GC: Who are your customers?

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Mongi: Many of the employees from the centre come here, people on the street, everyone.

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GC: How would you like your business to evolve in the future?

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Mongi: I really wanted to start cooking here- phutu, rice and beef, pap, etc. Cheap lunch and takeaways for the local workers. But the municipality won’t allow it.

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GC:  Have you had any problems with metro police or the municipality?

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Mongi: No, just that. The police don’t bother me because I have a permit.

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GC: Why is this a good spot for your business?

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Mongi: Because it is very busy. The centre always provides a lot of customers, and there are lots of people walking by throughout the day.

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GC: Have you had any problems working here?

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Mongi: No, no problems. Crime hasn’t really affected me. I think this is a safe place. Though sometimes I see people messing with the cars parked along the road here [Brand], but I don’t report it because I don’t want problems for myself.

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GC: How could the municipality make this spot better for your business?

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Mongi: I would really appreciate a shelter for the rain. I have a cover now, but it does a very poor job when the rain is hard.

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GC: Where do you store your goods at night?

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Mongi: There is storage below the parking garage in Davenport Centre. It’s affordable but not very secure. Often my goods get eaten during the night.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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