Joburg hawkers hand over memorandum detailing abuse

2010-11-10 12:52

A memorandum of requests by informal traders who claim that police abuse them was read out at the mayor’s office in Johannesburg today.

The assistant director of petitions for the municipality, Peter Kute, signed the memorandum saying: “We are inviting the executive to the offices tomorrow to discuss their requests.”

The memorandum, with a list of 29 requests, was read out by One Voice For All Hawkers’ Association president Zacharia Ramutulwana in front of a 300-strong crowd of informal traders and two representatives of the Johannesburg municipality.

Ramutulwana said: “We demand that you stop all the evictions and harassment of hawkers who are without any proper alternative and decent way of making a living.”

The crowd began their protest march at Mary Fitzgerald Square in Newtown at 10am wearing One Voice For All Hawkers’ Association T-shirts and Pan Africanist Congress T-shirts in bright colours.

Police presence consisted of about 15 officers, with some military personnel.

The informal traders marched up West and Rissik streets under the blazing sun, raising banners with the words “Phansi Ngo metro police, phansi” (Down metro police, down).

By 1.30pm the crowd was visibly exhausted, seeking shelter from the heat under umbrellas, but their determination to voice their distress was clear.

To the sound of vuvuzelas and elated cheers, Kute confirmed that a meeting with the executive committee for the association would take place tomorrow.

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