Street traders launch chamber for informal business

2012-11-19 00:00

THE Msunduzi Municipality will lead the way in boosting the informal economy with the launch of the Msunduzi Informal Economy Chamber (MIEC) tomorrow.

The chamber already has over 600 members involved in street trading, and in waste collection and recycling. The plan is to extend membership to other sectors like grass cutters, home renovators, painters and carpenters.

The street traders are organised into 14 blocks, each with its own elected committee. A representative from the committee sits on the chamber.

The chairperson of the chamber, Patrick Mchunu, who has a stall at the Freedom Square taxi rank, says the traders’ involvement in the initiative was sparked by an article in The Witness.

According to Mchunu, the street traders, who felt they were being pushed from pillar to post, had organised themselves into a group.

He read an article in The Witness in which Co-operative Governance Deputy Minister Yunus Carrim said his department was looking at developing the informal economy. Mchunu wrote to Carrim, who met with them and Mayor Chris Ndlela.

The municipality committed itself to set up the chamber in accordance with the province’s informal economy policy. The chamber will be part of the uMgungundlovu District Chamber and the KZN Provincial Informal Economic Chamber. In support of the chamber, the municipality recently established the informal economy and street trading sub-committee.

Mchunu said chamber members had already committed themselves to keep the city clean and report crime in their blocks.

At the launch tomorrow, various awards will be presented, including for the cleanest block and for the best rental payment.

Carrim yesterday congratulated the chamber and the municipality on the launch. He said those involved in the informal economy should be supported, as they were working at generating their own income instead of being dependent on the state.

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