Traders protest outside Joburg court

2013-11-26 12:16
Street vendors in Johannesburg. (File, AFP)

Street vendors in Johannesburg. (File, AFP)

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Johannesburg - Scores of informal traders and their supporters sang and waved placards outside the South Gauteng High Court in Johannesburg on Tuesday where their applications against the removal of their stalls will be heard.

The SA Informal Traders Forum (SAITF) and the SA National Traders Retail Association (Santra) brought urgent applications seeking an interdict against the City of Johannesburg from removing informal traders from the streets.

The court heard that the city had submitted a single answering affidavit, asking that the two applications be combined into one.

The Santra and SAITF matters were stood down until 11:30 and 14:00 respectively, although if they were consolidated both could be heard at 11:30.

Michal Johnson, for Santra, said the city's answering affidavit called for the matter to be placed on the ordinary court roll, as the city did not believe it was urgent.

"[But] it is extremely urgent," she said outside court.

"People are living day to day without food to eat."

Tourists take photos of demonstration

If the city was successful the matter might only be heard next year, she said.
Santra filed a replying affidavit to reassert the urgency of the matter.

The City of Johannesburg has been conducting a process to register all traders on the streets. It was started after the city found discrepancies between the allocated stalls on the city's database and the number of stalls counted on the streets.

The city found that several traders were allocated smaller areas, creating overcrowding. In addition some stands were being traded and leased illegally.

The applications by the informal trader groups seek an interdict to prevent the city from demolishing further stalls and compelling it to allow legal traders to resume their work in their previously allocated areas.

They also want the traders to be reinstated.

In front of the court building, SAITF and Santra members held up banners and placards.

One placard read: "No street traders, no economy".

An open double-decker sightseeing bus drove slowly past and people on the tour stood up to take photographs of the demonstration.
Read more on:    johannesburg  |  protests

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