Tshwane moves to appease hawkers

2012-09-20 18:46
Pretoria - An agreement was reached between the Tshwane metro municipality and four associations representing informal traders, the city said on Thursday.

Spokesperson Nomasonto Ndlovu said the pact would see the parties working together in growing and developing the informal trade sector and improving the quality of life of the vendors.

"The city and the associations will together deal with challenges that face the informal traders," said Ndlovu.

These included a lack of sanitation and ablution facilities, insufficient demarcated areas for trading, lack of overnight storage facilities and congestion at designated areas.

She said the agreement was in line with the Tshwane's Growth and Development Strategy 2055 aimed at improving opportunities for emerging entrepreneurs as well as boosting efforts to create jobs.

Significant


At the engagements, the city was represented by mayor Kgosientso Ramokgopa while the hawkers were represented by leaders of different associations.

"Ramokgopa encouraged the representatives to organise themselves into a co-operative and a fresh produce market agency. The city will provide them with the trading space, training and managerial support," said Ndlovu.

She said the mayor had noted that the informal traders contributed R600m towards the Tshwane Fresh Produce Market's R2bn annual turnover, making them significant economic players in the local economy.

"The city stated that it would get them [vendors] on board in various projects such as the cleaning of the city and in the manufacturing and erection of the informal traders' stalls in the different areas.

The associations would also be provided with an office and computers," said Ndlovu.

R10m set aside

She said the city had set aside R10m for the designing and manufacturing of street stalls and it was envisaged that informal traders would be directly involved in the project.

Ndlovu said by-law enforcement would continue in the capital city in a bid to curb illegal traders.

Over the past months, hundreds of aggrieved informal traders had often brought the city to a stand-still as they embarked on wildcat strikes.

In August the informal traders ran amok when they learnt that metro police officers had demolished their stalls next to the Kopanong and Renbro shopping centres in Hammanskraal. They barricaded the R101 road with burning tyres, stones and sticks. A section of the road had to be closed.

Several shops were closed because of intimidation by the protesters, some of whom threw stones at passing cars.
At the time, Gauteng police said food was stolen from a delivery truck during the protest.

- SAPA
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