Traders shown the ropes

2015-07-07 06:01
Informal trader Nomonde Makabane says she is happy with what the City is bringing to the table.

Informal trader Nomonde Makabane says she is happy with what the City is bringing to the table.

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Informal traders in Maitland, Kensington, Factreton and the surrounding areas braved wet weather to attend an informative session.

The aim of the session at the Maitland town hall on Wednesday last week was to give traders information about how to go about their day-to-day trading and make sure they do not break any laws. They were also urged to clean their trading areas and throw away rubbish. They were told not to put their stall on pavements, municipal property or on any spot that obstructs pedestrians and makes it impossible for motorists to see.

The traders were also told about the trading plan which is currently under discussion and specifies where informal trading may take place in the area and make clear what the conditions of trading permits and City bylaws are.

The trading plan will also provides security for informal traders and regulate where night-time and early morning trading can take place.

The trading plan for the area is expected to be finalised by November. By then all the traders will be issued with permits.

Garreth Bloor, mayoral committee member for tourism, events and economic development, says: “The main beneficiaries of the informal trading plan are the informal traders themselves who will have security of tenure and all the users of the area will know where informal traders can and cannot trade.

“Through the informal trading plan permits are issued to the informal traders.”

At the moment informal traders are being given concession letters to operate.

Ward 56 councillor Lisa Mcbride says this is a step forward that will see informal traders and residents working together.

“Many residents don’t want the trading, but it’s a reality that we can’t run away from. Developing a trading plan is the way to deal with issues that will arise. We want to do it in a very neat way and we don’t want to end up with slums, but we want people who will take responsibility and show that they respect their area and respect where they trade by keeping it clean. Traders must obey the law and those that are found doing the opposite will have their concession letter revoked and that will make it difficult for them to get trading permits,” says Mcbride.

Gene Lohrentz, manager of the Maitland Company Improvement District, told the traders: “Respect your own trade, area and clients. We can’t run away from the fact that most dirt comes from informal traders, but we are not here to fight today but just to say trade responsibly. Don’t anchor your stall on poles, trees. Make sure that your boxes or any dirt is disposed correctly. There are some who are doing it right but the majority still has to learn,” says Lohrentz.

Informal trader Isgaaq Abrahams says the informative session was a good thing.

“It’s so empowering and it makes me feel happy that the City is working hard to make sure that we are recognised as informal traders. I’m so happy with what’s being proposed and the information was what most traders lacked, so this was very informative. It has equipped us to be better traders but, above all, to make sure that we trade responsibly. To respect our work, our clients and to make sure that we maintain clean areas,” he says

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