A public participation process is open for comment on a proposed draft plan that could see more than 170 informal trading bays created in ward 76.The informal trading plan, if approved, will create 177 informal trading bays for the precinct.It is proposed that there will be 74 trading bays under the main canopy area, 35 bays at the Civic Square, and 12 trading kiosks and 56 trading bays in the open area. The proposal also includes four fish trading opportunities.“The inclusive public participation process started on Friday 15 September and will end on Sunday 15 October,” says Mayco member (South), Eddie Andrews.Following the completion of the public participation process, the proposal will be tabled at a subcouncil meeting, after which it will be referred to the Mayoral Committee for recommendation to Council, says Andrews.“The draft informal trading plan needs to be approved by full council as per the Mayoral Committee recommendation. Once approved by council, there are still regulatory processes that need to be followed,” he says.The purpose of the trading plan, if approved, is to provide dedicated informal trading opportunities and security of tenure for traders in the Lentegeur precinct. These informal traders will need to trade with a valid informal trading permit, which is renewed monthly.The plan is also in addition to upgrades taking place in the Lentegeur precinct.The Lentegeur precinct upgrade involves the creation of trading kiosks, a fully functional fish market, new ablution facilities and additional trading sites, all situated under a new designer roof feature. “The area mentioned was an informal market and after the need for a trading hub was identified a feasibility study was done, followed by a concept design, and the trading hub was then formalised. The initial conceptual design took place during 2002 and was redesigned in 2008 and 2011,” explains Andrews.The budget for all three phases amounts to approximately R38m, inclusive of professional service fees.Andrews says the upgrade of the precinct will allow for easier access and customer friendly usage of the business space where residents can sell their goods, and the upgrade will ensure an improved business area, which will result in further business opportunities for Mitchell’s Plain. The informal traders will need to comply with the City’s bylaws, which will prevent over-trading and littering and ensure the removal of any waste from the site. “Informal trading is not only about selling goods. “It is also about creating synergy between formal and informal trading, which will stimulate economic growth at business hubs in the community. Further it is an opportunity for residents to work together with the City in promoting key drivers in the local economy,” says Andrews.