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Second-hand books give homeless people a happy ending

Since the beginning of the lockdown, homeless booksellers in SA have been struggling to earn an income because they could no longer sell their books on the street and in shopping malls. To help the booksellers, Durban businessman and Founder of the e-commerce site, Anivesh Singh launched an online site which enables them to sell their books online.

“The sellers were able to continue earning an income through the lockdown. Even though many of them are now able to go back to their normal places to sell books again, we are continuing to support them by listing their books online,” says Singh.

In collaboration with The Denis Hurley Centre and Micromega Publications, Booksellers of Mzansi helps homeless people in Durban sell second-hand books in order to make a living. Richard Nzima is one of these booksellers. He moved from Mpumalanga to Durban after being offered a job but soon discovered that he had fallen victim to a scam.

“For three-and-a-half months, I was on the street. This is until I went to the Denis Hurley Centre, where social workers told me about some job opportunities. I was given some books to sell and on my first day, I made R450,” said Nzima.

“It requires little money to start off and you see the results immediately. I approached shopping malls and now I have four malls where I can sell my books. I set myself a target of selling at least 10 to 20 books per day to earn a good income,” he added. Since he started selling books, Nzima has managed to get off the streets. He now has enough money to rent a room and to afford meals every day.

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