Structures cause for concern

2015-06-30 09:55
Ward councillor Magedien Davids has put in a motion at sub council regarding seven illegal structures built in the roadway of the Gatesville CBD. The motion calls for City departments to escalate and investigate the matter.  

Chevon boo

Ward councillor Magedien Davids has put in a motion at sub council regarding seven illegal structures built in the roadway of the Gatesville CBD. The motion calls for City departments to escalate and investigate the matter. PHOTO: Chevon boo

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Seven illegal structures built in the Gatesville CBD has come up again as a cause of “concern and conflict”.

This after a motion has been presented at the Athlone subcouncil by ward 48 councillor Magedien Davids.

Davids has called on the City of Cape Town to escalate the matter with various agencies to address the situation.

“The Gatesville CBD has for a long time been a cause of concern because of the apparent inconsistency in applying the trading bylaws. More recently the presence of some illegal structures from which traders are trading and for which no tariffs are charged has again been raised by stakeholders,” Davids noted in his motion to the subcouncil.

He said relevant internal stakeholders, including spatial planning, law enforcement, economic development and Transport for Cape Town (TCT) have been approached to assist.

“Economic Development has provided a background narrative on the presence of these traders which is said to be linked to former dispensation when informal trading in this area was managed by the traffic department. Permission was granted for these traders to occupy their current spaces on the promise of Council to build a dedicated fresh vegetable and fruit market in which these traders would have enjoyed space,” he said.

According to him the current placement of these structures is as a result of Council not keeping their “promise”.

The motion also states that the structures built in the roadway are a transgression of the law.

“There is no formal record of the apparent agreement and the presence of these structures is having a huge negative impact on pedestrian flow, traffic flow, perceptions of unfairness and the City cannot be held to promises made by previous regimes.”

Davids said his motion stands to have the matter escalated and investigated.

According to one stall owner – who requested to remain anonymous out of fear of victimisation – he has operated his stall for more than 30 years already.

“This is an old topic that is being brought up again. They have not addressed our issues previously and we need to make a living,” he says.

The trader insists the City should have put measures in place and followed procedures if they wanted law and order to be restored.

“In any case, we aren’t harming anybody by the way we are trading. We are earning an honest living.

“Why don’t they rather focus on greater illegal activities happening in the city? Now they want us to move. It’s not right,” he insists.

According to the trader they do pay tariffs but he would not confirm the amount.

“We are all here and participate in a competitive trading environment. Why should a few suffer?” he asked.

After putting a number of questions to the City, mayoral committee member for Tourism, Events and Economic Development, Garreth Bloor, answered briefly by saying the relevant City departments together with the subcouncil are working on the issue.

“They are working towards a programme of proactively and developmentally addressing the regularisation of the informal trading structures on the Klipfontein Road centre median and off the Gatesville parking area. A process which, inevitably, takes time,” Bloor explained.

Bloor, who confirmed the structures have been in the area for more than 25 years, said a meeting between the affected City departments is being set up for July “but a date is still to be confirmed.”


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