A.P.N.U Presidential Candidate Brigadier (ret) David Granger and Regional Councillor for Region #4, Ms. Genevieve Allen met with vendors on Tuesday 19th July 2011 at Congress Place, Sophia. The 100 odd vendors came from the various markets in Georgetown – Kitty, La Penitence, Bourda and Stabroek Markets to discuss their needs and the challenges they face during their day-to-day business activities. The vendors shared the wish that the challenges they face be properly represented by an A.P.N.U Government.
Vendors expressed concerns about operating in unsafe and unsanitary conditions daily as they do their vending. They also pointed to the fact that no one in Government was currently representing their interests. Government Ministers instead continue to harass them, threatening to remove street vendors without providing proper facilities or proper space for them to vend. Such a move would reduce the already struggling vendors to financial ruin. The street vendors specifically spoke of a recent notice to move more than 200 hundred of them to a space that could only accommodate about 30.
Other concerns raised by the despondent vendors include the absence of proper sanitary facilities, underage youths liming, smoking and drinking around the markets; heavy competition arising from selling similar or same products by other business persons and harassment of customers by minibus touts. The vendors said that these difficulties also affect tourism.
Mr. Granger committed to rebuilding the markets and making the environment more safe and convenient for both shoppers and vendors. He further stated “when we get into Government, we are going to provide markets that you can be proud of…we are going to rebuild our markets beginning with Bourda Market”. The new market he said “will be able to accommodate all of our Street Vendors”.
Mr. Granger stated that those issues highlighted by the vendors were issues which can deeply affect the survival of Guyana’s markets. The candidate observed that vending is an essential activity and stressed its importance to the economy. Additionally, the Presidential Candidate said that an A.P.N.U Administration will extend micro-credit loans which will assist the vendors to acquire equipment in addition improve their businesses.
Mr. Granger promised that the transportation sector will undergo a complete overhaul, thus eliminating the problem of touting near our markets. A move which he says will also see a major reduction of road accidents and road deaths.
The Presidential Candidate ended by stating that, “improvements must come and will come to our city markets under an A.P.N.U Government”.