Xoliswa Ntunta is a firm favourite with her Big Issue customers in Constantia. The 62-year- old grandmother lives in Site B, Khayelitsha with her four children and her late brother’s child. When Xoliswa joined the organisation in 2010, she started selling the magazine in Sea Point; then in 2018 she moved her pitch to Constantia Village Mall.
Xoliswa is one of five vendors who are distributors of The Big Issue. Her fellow distributors are Bongani Pholo, who sells the magazine in Fish Hoek; Ntombekhaya Mhambi, whose pitch is in Claremont; Thabo Jamangile, who sells it at Tyger Valley Shopping Centre; and Siphokazi Magobiyane, whose pitch is in Cape Town’s CBD.
Big Issue Office and Distributions Manager Penny Hawker-Mdingi, says the vendors are ideal distributors of the magazine because of their positive attitudes and lovely personalities.
Thabo Jamangile, Bellville
“They are all friendly and talkative, and get on well with their fellow vendors. They are also reliable and are always at their respective pitches.”
Penny says the appointment of the five vendors as distributors is a win-win scenario for the organisation and the other vendors who aren’t distributors.
“We no longer have satellite distribution offices. Now that they are distributing The Big Issue in their own areas, their fellow vendors no longer have to travel all the way to the office to buy copies of the magazine. This means they’re saving on travel costs,” she explains.
“The distributors are also benefitting from it financially. They receive R1 for every copy that they sell to the other vendors.” Penny says that this
is advantageous for them because they can still sell the magazine to their customers while doing the distribution. “So they now have a second income stream.”