Flower sellers furious over V-Day disruption

2013-02-12 14:14

Cape Town - The Mother City's famous Adderley Street flower sellers are up in arms about parliament hijacking one of the most important days of their year - Valentine's Day. 

Die Burger reports that the merchants of all things floral are furious about the fact that the roads around their Trafalgar Place market will be closed at 16:00 on Thursday for the Opening of Parliament and President Jacob Zuma's State of the Nation address. 

"It's nonsense!" Glenda Bowman, who's been selling flowers for 30 years told the paper. "I'm very disappointed, because Valentine's Day is our most profitable day of the year. They didn't even consider us when they made the decision."

Many important roads will be closed in Cape Town's CBD on Thursday between 16:00 and 21:00 for the state of the nation address and opening of parliament. 

Gareth Bloor, mayoral committee member for economic, environmental and spatial planning, paid the flower sellers a visit yesterday to talk about their concerns. "We're proud to host the opening of parliament, but the flower market is also an important landmark in the city." He said the responsibility to make any alternative arrangements lay with Parliament as the road closures were its decision.

But as a courtesy, because the city sympathised with informal traders, it had let vendors know about the road closures last week.

IOL reports that Delia Gamieldien, who has been working at the market her whole life, said the city should have consulted the sellers and made provisions for the financial hit they would take.

"At least let us provide the flowers for Parliament," she said. "But no, they go to the big florists and ask them to arrange it.
"We wait for this day every year and now it's ruined," she added.

Parliament said the issue of the flower sellers had not been formally raised with it and it was unaware of the issue.

Read more on:    travel south africa

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