Joburg traders can go back to work

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Copy of st street traders (10)


File photo: Itumeleng English

Johannesburg - The Constitutional Court ruled on Thursday that informal traders in Johannesburg's CBD could return to their pavement spots, the SA Informal Traders' Forum (SAITF) said.

"The ruling was that all the traders that were removed by the City of Johannesburg can now resume trading," said SAITF deputy chairman Phumulani Ndlovu.

The city was ordered not to interfere with informal traders operating on the streets, and to pay the costs of the application.

Last Wednesday, the High Court in Johannesburg ruled that the application by the traders to return to their trading spots was not urgent.

The hawkers were represented by the SA National Traders and Retail Alliance (Santra) and the SAITF.

They had asked the high court to order the city to allow them to return to the pavements of the inner city to trade.

They were removed so the city could verify how many informal traders were operating in the central business district, but were not permitted to return.

Santra and the SAITF approached the Constitutional Court, seeking an order for the hawkers to return to the sites where they previously traded.

In a statement, the city said it would do everything in its power to ensure the court order was implemented, but would continue to enforce its by-laws by ensuring that no illegal trading took place in the streets.

"Illegal trading brings with it a number of challenges wherever it takes place in the city. These include... congestion, crime, grime, littering and general breakdown of other services," said spokesman Nthatisi Modingoane.

The city said it was committed to the development of an informal trading sector by creating trading spaces.

"The city has already started with a process of proclaiming and de-proclaiming trading areas in and around the inner city," said Modingoane.



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