Out of court settlement in CBD traders’ row ‘likely’

FILE PICTURE: Informal street traders protest outside the South Gauteng High Court, 19 November 2013, in the Johannesburg CBD. The South African Informal Trader's Forum took the City of Johannesburg to court after the forced removal of street vendors in the area. The appeal was postponed to Tuesday, 26 November 2013. Picture: Alaister Russell

The urgent application brought by Johannesburg informal traders – which sought to interdict the City of Johannesburg from removing them from the streets – was yesterday postponed to next week Tuesday in the South Gauteng High Court.

According to a legal representative of the traders, Michal Johnson, this is to allow the City of Joburg time to file its own papers by Friday.

“We will then respond in due course,” she said.

The traders are all members of the South African National Traders Association (Santra).

While there is the likelihood that an out-of-court settlement could be reached by the parties concerned, Johnson was not at liberty to divulge more, except to say that talks with the city have been ongoing. The parties have been at loggerheads regarding the ongoing Clean Sweep operation, which, according to the city, is aimed at ridding Johannesburg of overcrowding, crime and illegality.

As a result, traders have not been trading for almost two months now and a re-registration and verification process is ongoing.

The city has been carrying out the process after it was found there were discrepancies between the allocated stalls on its database and the actual number of stalls.

 

Informal street traders protest outside the South Gauteng High Court, 19 November 2013, in the Johannesburg CBD. The South African Informal Trader's Forum took the City of Johannesburg to court after the forced removal of street vendors in the area. The appeal was postponed to Tuesday, 26 November. Picture: Alaister Russell

Informal street traders protest outside the South Gauteng High Court, 19 November 2013, in the Johannesburg CBD. The South African Informal Trader’s Forum took the City of Johannesburg to court after the forced removal of street vendors in the area. The appeal was postponed to Tuesday, 26 November. Picture: Alaister Russell

 

Speaking to The Citizen outside court, Santra spokesman Edmund Elias again took a swipe at the city, accusing it of being evil and inhumane.

“They have chased traders who are breadwinners off the streets without having a proper plan,” Elias said.

Meanwhile, hundreds of tra-ders converged at the court from as early as 8.30am yesterday.

While chanting liberation songs, the traders also hoisted placards reading: We are hungry, Mr Mayor. Our kids are hungry too.

Gauteng chairman of the African Christian Democratic Party (ACDP) Meshack van Wyk said in a statement the city should treat street vendors with respect and must make plans to accommodate new traders.



today in print

today in print