Cape Town’s informal traders threaten to disrupt 2010

2009-11-25 12:02

INFORMAL traders in Cape Town incensed at the City’s clampdown on

trading stalls which contravene the Land Use Planning Ordinance and city

by-laws, have threatened to disrupt service delivery during the 2010 World

Cup.

About 300 traders marched to the Civic Centre in Cape Town on

Tuesday, demanding that officials involve them in decision-making regarding

issues which concern them.

The traders gave the city seven working days to respond to their

grievances or they would make Cape Town “ungovernable come 2010”.

While traders are unhappy about the clampdown on businesses run on

pavements or from shipping containers placed on land not zoned for business,

they are also upset over the City not including them in 2010 World Cup

plans.

Singing and dancing while carrying placards reading “we demand to

be consulted now rather than later or we will make Cape Town ungovernable”, the

traders handed their memorandum to the City’s business manager Paul

Williamson.

Speaking on behalf of more than 10 informal traders’ associations,

chairperson of the Western Cape Informal Traders association Charles Riedewaan

said 288 informal traders had their businesses shut down this year in Bellville

alone.

Due to the Grand Parade being an official Fifa fan zone during the

World Cup, he said 100 of the 250 informal traders there faced eviction.

Riedewaan said the City had told them they don’t have provision for

informal traders and could only accommodate a few during the World Cup.

“We want him (Cape Town Mayor Dan Plato) to stop the evictions so

that we may sit with him with all the concerned and affected parties.

“We oppose the City’s strategy of sending eviction letters to our

members without consulting with us,” he said.

On Tuesday, Plato was meeting informal traders from Mitchells’s

Plain and the Grand Parade about their benefiting from the World Cup but

Riedewaan asked: “What is the point of talking with one group and evicting the

others?”

Bellville informal trader David Willy said his stall was shut down

about a month ago. He said he was told not to open again because there was no

space for him in Bellville. Willy said he operated out of a shipping container

and sold airtime, ran a cobbling business and fixed electrical appliances.

He said his stall had been his only source of income and he was now

unable to put food on the table and his three children were going hungry.

– West

Cape News


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