Sunday, January 18, 2009

Keith Busani Khumalo: Trolley Pushing in downtown Joburg

By Keith Busani Khumalo.

Unemployment is so high that I thought I need to try something to feed myself and my family. I am here illegally from Zimbabwe, so I hooked up with other guys and started pushing trolleys. The trolleys are stolen from shops like Game, Pick & Pay, Woolworths, Checkers and Spar. We are not responsible for stealing the trolleys, we buy them from guys who come around to sell them.

I feel that we are helping people at the same time they are helping us. So as far as I am concerned, we are very helpful as far as ferrying our customers goods but sometimes we have arguments about money. Sometimes a customer offer to pay only R5 to transport his goods to Park Station and that's quite a long distance. I am not happy with the price but I have no choice but to agree on the price.

Trust plays a big part in our business as sometimes, we lose our customers in the chaos downtown. We need to wait for our customers and take care of their goods. Some people accuse us of stealing their goods, but we are trying to work honestly and are trying to help.

A huge problem we are facing is being arrested by the police, who keep us in jail over the weekend. We lose our trolleys and need to pay a R300 fine. There is also the problem of Saki Sizwe, who comes around from Park Station to take our trolleys away. At Park Station you can hire a trolley for R20 per day. But the trolleys are small and cannot accomodate heavy luggage. We cannot make enough money to pay R20 per day for the trolley rental. Life here is very hard, but it is better than life in Zimbabwe as here I can do something and I am able to find some money for food.

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