Municipality to remove illegal street vendors

2017-09-20 06:00
Some of the street vendors in Church Street.PHOTO:lethiwe makhanya

Some of the street vendors in Church Street.PHOTO:lethiwe makhanya

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AS part of keeping the city clean the Msunduzi Municipality will soon remove street vendors who are operating illegally [without a permit] in the CBD.

This comes after a meeting in the city hall on September 8, where illegal street vendors were told they had to stop operating in the CBD from last Monday.

Msunduzi Municipality spokesperson Thobeka Mafumbatha confirmed that only those with permits will be allowed to operate in the CBD.

“We receive lots of complaints from vendors who have permits and it is not fair on them as they are paying to operate.

“Street vendors are aware of the requirements because we had a meeting with them. There are many street vendors operating in the CBD and most operate­ illegally,” she said.

She said, however, they will not reveal the exact date they will start removing those without permits.

Mafumbatha said street vendors who want to continue with their “business” must go to the municipal office with identity documents, business paperwork and apply, and they will be told if their application has been approved.

“Sellers are allowed to operate in the demarcated areas where the pavement is wide and there is no obstruction to the public. A pre-site inspection is done in the proposed area before processing the application.

“Anyone who operates illegally will be apprehended and face the might of the law,” said Mafumbatha.

Maritzburg Fever spoke to street vendors in the CBD, and most said they did not know about the meeting at city hall or about the municipality’s plans.

Thandiwe Nkabinde, who operates in Retief Street, said she has been operating there for 10 years and does not plan on moving.

“If they [municipality] say we must leave, where will we go because we have nowhere to go.

“We support our families [with the money we make] and send our children to school.

“How many people who operate like us have permits? [The] Municipality made us sign forms and submit certified copies of our identity document, but nothing came of it.

“They never responded to us after we applied.”

Nkabinde said the municipality should remove foreigners who do not have the required documentation before removing street vendors.

Madoda Kheswa, who operates in Retief Street, said he also signed forms issued by the municipality.

“We have signed forms applying for permits more than once, but we never got them [permits], now they want to remove us - that is not going to happen.

“We’re not obstructing anything and always keep our place clean,” said Kheswa.

A street vendor in Church Street, who refused to provide his name, said there will be war if the municipality tries to remove them.

“[The] Municipality must close the whole town if they want us gone because we are not moving.”

QUALIFYING REQUIREMENTS FOR INFORMAL TRADE

• Unemployed with no source of income.

• ID copy and check if the person is not owing municipal rates.

• The cost of the licence depends on what is being sold, with the maximum cost being R90.

• Business licence is given to someone who is selling non-perishable goods over and above the permit they need, they must a business licence, which costs R51.50 - this is a once-off fee.

• They can apply at A.S. Chetty Building lower ground.

• Once the application has been approved the business owner signs a lease agreement with the municipality, which has all the terms and conditions.

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