Social Enterprise Hawker Centre Conditions Improve, But More Can Be Done, Says Seetoh
Debate over Social Enterprise Hawker Centres (SEHCs) peaked towards the end of 2018 as Parliament finally addressed the mounting issues.
Now conditions are slowly improving, with SEHC hawkers receiving better entitlements such as the option of a five-day work week.
Though authorities introduced these changes, hawkers have KF Seetoh to thank for his tireless efforts in fighting for them.
Cleaning fees reduced by $200
Makansutra founder KF Seetoh related an account of a surprise encounter with a hawker aunty at a SEHC on Monday (14 Jan).
This is his post in full but we’ll summarise it after the jump.
A hawker came up to Mr Seetoh and hugged him, thanking him for helping to reduce cleaning fees at the SEHC by $100-200.
Touched by the gesture, he highlights to Singaporeans that change is possible if you try your best to support a cause you believe in.
He then lists the many changes that SEHCs have gone through since he started his public campaigns against the previous model that was failing.
5-day week & lower operational costs
From 1 Jan 2019, hawkers can opt to work five days/week under the new rules.
They could previously only get a day off if their stalls stayed open for 24 hours, six days a week.
Hawkers at SEHCs that made the news last year now enjoy the following savings:
- Jurong West HC: $800 from abolishment of 20¢ tray return system
- Ci Yuan HC: $600/month management fees (optional)
- Old Airport Road Food Centre: Lower cleaning fees based on usage
While these changes are significant, Mr Seetoh notes that there’s still room for improvement.
He cites the $300 monthly “marketing” fees at Pasir Ris Hawker Centre as an example, which is still in place despite serving no tangible purpose for the hawkers.
More support for local hawker culture
To gain support, Mr Seetoh appeals to Singaporeans’ nostalgia by reminding us of the importance of preserving our heritage.
Keep at it people, your affordable makan bloodline heritage is worth preserving.
Before concluding his post, he makes a point to mention that there are still affordable hawker stalls available under the National Environment Agency (NEA).
He claims that rent for those can be less than $1,000 or so compared to the average $2,000 at SEHCs.
Driving home the point that SEHCs are overpriced, Mr Seetoh urges Singaporeans to read up about the issue and find out more.
If you would like to support the hawkers, visit Our SG Hawker Culture’s support site and pledge your support there.
Featured image from Facebook.
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