Cape Townians are being called on to help make a difference in the lives of the marginalised and unemployed who have been unable to earn an income due to the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent national lockdown.
“Big Issue vendors, many of whom are breadwinners, have been unable to sell their magazines and as a result cannot provide for their families. Novus Holdings donated R10 000 to the BigIssueSA Vendor Lockdown Relief Fund to assist with some income for these vendors during this difficult time,” says Carrie Nixon, Head of Corporate Communications at Novus Holdings.
Many will recognise the Big Issue as an initiative started to support the homeless, marginalised and unemployed people in Cape Town to earn a living through selling the magazine of the same name at traffic lights.
Nixon says that every cent counts in bringing relief to those in need during this time.
“We are challenging corporates and individuals alike to make a difference and donate to this worthy cause as soon as possible with any amount that they can,” she adds.
Novus Holdings, as printers of the magazine, decided to contribute to the fund because the initiative plays an important role in providing skills training, social support, and counselling for the marginalised, unemployed and destitute in Cape Town.
The Big Issue relies on funding from national and international foundations, and from corporates and individuals, to support its work, the aim of which is to give vendors “a hand up, rather than a hand-out”.
One such vendor is 67-year-old grandfather, Joseph Klint, who has sold the magazine for over 20 years and is The Big Issue’s longest-serving vendor. Born and raised in Bonteheuwel on the Cape Flats, Klint leads an honest life and is a good example to his 23 grandchildren.
“Selling it is what I do best. The relationship I have built with my customers has kept me going, and I don’t want to be deprived of that.”
Klint plans to continue doing what he loves, and calls on the community to continue supporting vendors through donations to the BigIssueSA Vendor Lockdown Relief Fund.
“I hope that the magazine exists for many more years because we rely on it to fight the war against poverty. May the Big Issue organisation continue to be a blessing for underprivileged families.
“As soon as it is safe to go out again, Big Issue vendors will return to the streets and sell our magazines with pride and a smile on our faces,” concludes Klint.