'No street traders near key points’

2014-02-17 00:00

THE days of Pietermaritzburg’s street traders plying their trade near state national key points are numbered, following last week’s Executive Committee (Exco) decision to approve recommendations by the Corporate Services Business Unit to relocate them.

A report tabled by the unit said street traders will also be removed from the urban renewal area and the Integrated Rapid Public Transport Network routes.

“National key points are by definition buildings, airports and strategic installations such as provincial legislatures and other government buildings that are worthy of tight security so as to prevent the act of sabotage or damage taking place,” said Ray Ngcobo, Msunduzi Municipality’s deputy municipal manager for corporate services.

He said the Msunduzi Municipality as the seat of the provincial legislature also houses a number of government buildings, including the deeds office and the high court, and the nature of their activities and the classified national repositories in these institutions are by definition national key points and require “tight security”.

Ngcobo said the area between Langalibalele and Pietermaritz Streets bordered by Boshoff and Peter Kerchhof Streets has the character of a government precinct containing the legislature, municipal building, courts and other state buildings all worthy of tight security.

The report states that a total 59 traders will have to be relocated, 33 from the Church Street Mall and the balance from the government precinct.

Ngcobo said they will consult with the Msunduzi Informal Economic Chamber for smooth transition.

Ngcobo said there are 25 sites available at Freedom Square to accommodate the balance of the traders and that sites that are viable and permissible for trading will be identified and demarcated.

“The unit will treat the removal of street traders from national key points or strategic areas with caution as the disruption in the sector will affect the livelihood of many families and might [have] undesirable consequences for council, hence the unit has come up with the plan,” said Ngcobo.

He said they had met the informal chamber and it had pledged its support.

“The proliferation of street trading chaos is a symptom of the absence of enforcement not only of our street by-laws, but the illegal use regulations,” Ngcobo said.

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