Informal traders important: De Lille

By Drum Digital
20 March 2013

The City of Cape Town wants to move from a "red-tape" to a "red-carpet" approach with the regulation of informal traders, Mayor Patricia de Lille said on Wednesday.

This had much to do with how the city facilitated business planning and operations, and how it could increase opportunities, she said at a summit for informal traders at the civic centre.

"At this level, we are faced with the challenge of balancing the need for economic activity against the needs of the general public to use and enjoy open spaces, be they roads or public squares, for example."

She said there was a commitment to get the balance right so that the forces complemented rather than competed with each other.

In order for equal representation of interests, traders had to be formally recognised.

According to the City's website, individuals were required to apply for an informal trading permit and had to be bona fide informal traders with no formal shop.

Those who were unemployed and who operated for at least 45 hours a week would get preference over casual traders.

Informal trading markets had been built in Nyanga, Gugulethu, Philippi, Ntlangano, iSithandathu, Hanover Park and Lentegeur.

De Lille said the purpose of the summit was to encourage traders to give their input on policies, strategies and by-laws.

"I believe that this summit allows us to take some important steps towards realising those ambitions, by helping us create a common agenda."

The informal trading sector produces about 12 percent of Cape Town's economy and employs 18 percent of its economically active residents.

-by Sapa

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