100 editions for The Big Issue

The Big Issue celebrates it's 100th edition.

The Big Issue 100th (November) edition came out end of October. This organisation registers thousands of vendors, with 350 frequent vendors in Cape Town, giving them half the profit of the magazine sales. It also offers support programmes that help vendors launch their own businesses.

Last year, the vendors made a collective amount of R1,5-million and about 15 000 copies are sold monthly, although these figures tend to drop during winter.

For street vendor Alfred Msitshana, 37, the Big Issue is his big dream. "I've been like somebody climbing a ladder for the past seven years who's focused on the future.

"I wake up every day at 7am, travel to Woodstock to buy 10 magazines and then walk to St George's Mall to sell them to earn a living. To be unemployed is to feel like something that doesn't exist, now I am saving up the money to make my big dreams come true."

As one of 9 000 vendors who have worked with the social upliftment magazine since its inception nine years ago, Msitshana's dream of starting his own leather business and having enough money to give his two daughters a higher education may not be that far away.

"I am grateful to Big Issue. I was unemployed for three years but now I am making a living," he says.

(Source: Cape Times, October 25 2005)

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