More inclusive approach needed on Joburg informal traders - report

2015-09-29 21:14
Street vendors in Johannesburg. (File, AFP)

Street vendors in Johannesburg. (File, AFP)

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Johannesburg - A more inclusive approach was needed on informal traders in Johannesburg, says a report released by the Socio-Economic Rights Institute of SA (Seri).

The report, titled The End of the Street? Informal Trader Experiences of Rights and Regulations in Inner City Johannesburg, was released on Tuesday.

It argued that the City of Johannesburg's regulations were restrictive, non-consultative, and orientated towards enforcement rather than development. 

It said the city sought to limit informal trading, privileged formal businesses and "tidy" aesthetics, while ignoring legal requirements imposed on it by the Business Act. 

This was "most brutally represented" by Operation Sweep in 2013, where according to Seri, the metro illegally evicted 7 000 traders from the streets of Johannesburg. Seri said there were major gaps in the informal trading policy and the way informal trade was regulated.

"The report concludes that an alternative vision is possible. A more inclusive approach, one that starts with recognising traders, whether they are licensed or not, will do more to contribute to inclusive regeneration than any interventions designed to eradicate informality," Seri said.

"This approach would also accommodate... equal access to the economy that an authentically world class African city must surely provide."

Read more on:    johannesburg

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