Street traders losing income – DA

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

Informal traders in Johannesburg have lost income following a programme by the city to halt trade in order for hawkers to be registered, the DA said on Wednesday.

“Informal traders have lost their livelihoods and once bustling parts of the CBD stand eerily quiet,” Democratic Alliance MPL Les Labuschagne said in a statement.

He said the informal sector played a critical role in supporting many families.

“Their initiative and drive must be supported by the economic development department and should grow from the street to the shop as they already

demonstrate an entrepreneurial spirit,” he said.

“The DA calls on Gauteng economic development MEC Eric Xayiya to intervene in the on-going Joburg inner city street traders’ saga.”

The informal trade sector should not be neglected as it contributed more than 3 million jobs countrywide, he said. The MEC’s office could not immediately be reached for comment.

The City of Johannesburg has been conducting a process to register all traders on the streets. It was started after the city found discrepancies between the allocated stalls on the city’s database and the number of stalls counted on the streets.

The city found that several traders were being allocated smaller areas, creating overcrowding. In addition some stands were being traded and leased illegally.

An application by the SA National Traders Retail Alliance to stop the City of Johannesburg from removing informal traders from the streets was postponed in the city’s high court on Tuesday, Eyewitness News reported. The matter would return to court next week.


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