Street vendors at Ondangwa say they cannot compete with Angolan vendors who sell the same items at extremely low prices at the town.
Mayor of the town Paavo Amwele has urged local vendors who are irked by the presence of Angolan vendors to be patient as council looks at ways of finding amicable solutions to their grievances.
Amwele said the council has been inundated with complaints by locals who feel Angolan vendors are taking business away as their goods are sold at cheaper prices.
Angolans move from street to street selling items such as vegetables, cooking oil, shoes, bowls and jars while local vendors claim council will not allow them to sell their items anywhere else except at the town's open market.
"Our local street vendors have issues with Angolan traders but those are our brothers and sisters, we cannot just chase them away. A proper solution for both parties has to be reached, we need to handle this in an orderly manner. Business is not smooth for everyone whether Angolan or local," said Amwele.
He said with the negative effect of Covid -19 on businesses, everyone is struggling and Angolans cannot be blamed for the situation.
Local open market vendors Selma Alutenu says the situation is distressing.
"We have to sit at the open market from morning till noon with hopes of selling our products but now many customers don't come anymore. Angolan vendors are walking up and down the streets, which means they meet the customers at their homes before customers can even think of travelling to the open market. We are losing out," said Alutenu.
Another vendor, Sofia Petrus added:
"We are struggling and their presence here is only worsening the situation, we cannot compete with their prices, we are at the losing end."
Petrus added that locals businesses are selling a small bag containing six tomatoes or onions for N$10, which she said is the standard price for all local vendors.
"But the Angolans are selling the same item and quantity for just N$5, now which would a customer choose? Of course they will prefer to buy the cheaper item," she adds.