Market ends in bitter distrust

2015-09-08 06:00

The City of Cape Town has decided to stop the Yew Street market in Salt River because it is concerned that the organiser is not taking the appropriate measures to minimise public safety risk.

The market has had its ups and downs. After the first market was held the City didn’t reissue the weekly permit due to objections from residents and businesses in the area. With the intervention of People’s Post the permit was reissued again (“Market back on”, 30 June).

At that time it was agreed that organiser Kim van Lingen would receive the permit on a week-by-week basis. The last market was held at the beginning of July. Thereafter the City stopped issuing permits again because of safety issues.

Garreth Bloor, mayoral committee member for tourism, events and economic development, says the City could not continue to support the Saturday market because Van Lingen is not addressing concerns regarding public safety risk.

“While we are fully supportive of small businesses and entrepreneurs, the City has a responsibility to balance the needs of all users in a public space,” he says.

Not only were traders left with nowhere to trade, there has also come a rift between Van Lingen and a few of the stall owners. Allegedly Van Lingen made some of them pay for the market when she knew that there was no permit to hold the market. Two months down the line she has not paid back the money.

Jacqui Hewett, one of the stallholders, says she is extremely upset about how things have turned out.

“My husband had to run around and get things as requested by Kim. I helped her as she promised to pay back the money but now she is running around and swearing at me when I ask for my money. I have incurred a lot of expenses compared to what I made at the market. For a small business like mine losing R1600 is a lot. I bought a lot of things that I’m sitting with right now; I just don’t know what to do with them. I want my money back.

“She never handled things properly. Each time I liaise with her, she promises to pay back but none of that has happened. She hasn’t paid any of the people she owes,” she says.

“The market had to be stop because I couldn’t meet the demands the City made,” Van Lingen says.

“We were such a small market and paying R5000 every Saturday to comply with what they wanted wasn’t working,” she says.

When asked about owing money Van Lingen says she is on her way to the police station to open a case as she is being cyber-bullied by Hewett.

“Jacqui knew where I stayed and she had my phone number. She should have picked up a phone and called me instead of posting the things she did on Facebook. I didn’t ask her to buy road cones, but she offered. When she saw she didn’t have enough she went on to buy more. I didn’t say I would pay her back but I can’t comment any further as we will be going to court,” she says

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