Frustrated informal traders on the Grand Parade say that they are losing as much as R3 000 a day because parts of the parade have been closed off for an event this week.
But Grant Pascoe, the mayoral committee member for tourism, events and marketing, said yesterday that once it was confirmed the City of Cape Town would host the Samsung Africa Forum, the traders’ associations on the parade had been told.
The forum, from today until Saturday, is an annual four-day event that is held in various African centres and showcases new products for the coming year.
Rashieda Bawa, who has been a trader on the Grand Parade for 20 years, said she had not been able to work since last week, when parts of the parade were closed off. A fence has been erected around an area where a dome is going up.
“They are taking our bread and butter away from us,” said Bawa, who sells clothes. “They are on my spot and I find it totally unacceptable. It looks like we will not be working this week too.
“Wednesday and Saturday are our busiest days, where we make up to R3 000 a day.”
Another clothes trader, Mymoena Isaacs, said she was also losing money.
“This is my main source of income and I am here every day working with my husband. We are losing money… how will we pay the rent?”
Pascoe said that four meetings had been held with the traders’ associations since the beginning of the year.
Natasha Naiker, an informal trader and leader of the Grand Parade United Traders Association, said they would like to benefit from events held at the parade and interact with guests. “But these people have a lot of money – they are not going to look at us small people.”
Riedewaan Charles, the chairman of the Western Cape Informal Traders Association, said it was not fair that traders had to be moved whenever there was an event. “Why are they not incorporating us into these events?”