Fish Hoek residents fume over informal trading area proposal
Cape Town – A proposal for an informal trading area to be established in Fish Hoek has left residents fuming and raising concerns about how it would affect the area.
The proposal is expected to be heard in council next month.
Fish Hoek Valley Ratepayers and Residents Association chairperson Brian Youngblood said: “The claim is that it offers more trading bays than are filled, but what the City has actually done is to bring slums into more upmarket areas.
"Bringing everyone down to lowest common denominator is not the way to grow a prosperous, cohesive society. People do not choose to live in squalor, but not providing adequate facilities does just that. We highly recommend that the City rethink its approach.”
Youngblood said there was a growing decline of the Fish Hoek High Street and Main Road and it would be worsened by more informal traders and limited facilities.
“The lowering of standards will create less employment opportunities for all as future investment will dry up. Fish Hoek is clearly not a sustainable area for pavement vendors,” he said.
The City has proposed 2m by 2m trading bays on the pavement in Main Road. According to the City, informal traders should dispose of their own rubbish and all the waste generated should be removed by the end of the day.
The City said the proposal was to enhance economic activity in the area. The cost to rent a bay would be R93 a month and so far 26 traders would operate on the site.
Fish Hoek already has a trading area, the Bayside Bazaar.
Residents said it would be more suitable for traders to trade there.
AP Jones retail shop owner and member of the ratepayers association Greg Bing said: “The City already turns a blind eye to the informal traders in Fish Hoek who contravene the law by trading beyond the bounds of their restrictions. By creating further opportunities for this sector of the community, what comfort do we rate paying ’formal traders’ have that this will be properly policed?”
Mayco member for urban development Grant Twigg said: “There have been significant changes in Fish Hoek regarding economic opportunities. These changes have also required the existing 1999 informal trading plan to be revisited.
"The review process entailed an extensive consultation process with internal and external stakeholders. Interested and affected parties were given the opportunity to provide inputs to the proposed informal trading draft.”
Twigg said 13 comments were received. “The City does not support this assertion that it will lower standards. The City’s informal trading by-law allows for informal trading as it is an essential part of the City’s economic development and one of the five pillars of an inclusive city.”