1 minute read
28 Nov 2013
1:02 pm

Hawkers shut down CBD

Disgruntled hawkers in Johannesburg forced businesses in the CBD to close on Thursday.

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 hawkers said they would not allow anyone to trade because the City of Johannesburg and the Johannesburg High Court were not taking them seriously.

“We are hungry. How are we supposed to feed our families this Christmas? They must all close,” said vegetable vendor Dorcas Mlangeni.

Mlangeni said she had been trading along Kerk Street for over two years.

“We are losing income while officials get salaries and will have a good Christmas.”

They walked in groups and forced shopkeepers along Kerk, Small, and Bree streets to close their doors.

Those who did not adhere to the instructions had stones thrown at them.

A defiant shopkeeper on Kerk Street was kicked at and hit with sticks. He decided to oblige after a few of them tried to loot his shop.

The busy Small Street was also closed for business.

The SA Police Service and the Johannesburg metro police arrived minutes later as the shops remained closed.

On Wednesday, the High Court in Johannesburg ruled that the hawkers’ application to be allowed to trade again was not urgent.

The case was postponed to next year.