Meet Our Vendors!


The Big Issue is a socially responsible non-profit organisation that enables willing unemployed and marginalized adults to take responsibility for their own lives through development employment programme.

Primarily, we produce a monthly magazine which individuals purchase from our offices to sell at traffic lights. This way of earning an income is not easy. Traffic light sales are gruelling – on your feet all day; in all kinds of hot, cold, wet and windy weather; relying on the interest or kindness of strangers, and the possibility of befriending regular customers. It is hard work!

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  • Date
    February 26, 2021
    Thabo (41) started selling The Big Issue magazine in 2018 from his pitch at the traffic lights near Checkers in Tyger Valley.
  • Date
    February 26, 2021
    Hailing from the Eastern Cape, Nkosikho Tom (30) came to Cape Town to seek employment opportunities and pursue his dream of being a musician.
  • Date
    January 25, 2021
    Big Issue vendor Nopinki Feni may not have a sufficient flow of income, but one thing she has in abundance is gratitude.
  • Date
    January 25, 2021
    Family means everything to 30-year-old Big Issue vendor Aphiwe Shumi. The single mother of three children (aged three, five and 10) lost her own mother when she was much younger. This meant that she had to care for her two younger siblings, who are now nine and 18, respectively.
  • Date
    October 21, 2020
    Vendor Sherman Permall is determined to secure a brighter future. In this issue, he shares his experience and hopes with us.
  • Date
    September 21, 2020
    Vendor on the pitch Zola Sawula, sells The Big Issue in York Road, Green Point. He talks about his appreciation for his customers and how he loves being an entrepreneur.
  • Nocwaka Mbeki
    Date
    July 20, 2020
    Big Issue vendors Nocwaka Mbeki has been selling the magazine at Constantia Village shopping centre for more than a decade.
  • Date
    June 19, 2020
    Over the past 18 months, life has been somewhat of a rollercoaster ride for Big Issue vendor Leslie Collins. The veteran vendor tells us about some of his experiences.
  • Date
    May 19, 2020
    Big Issue vendor Joseph Klink longs to be at his pitch and interact with his valued customers. We spoke to him halfway through the national lockdown.

The change in your pocket makes a big change in the lives of vendors.

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