File picture: Michael Walker/African News Agency
File picture: Michael Walker/African News Agency

Grand Parade vendors get go-ahead to trade

By Siphokazi Vuso Time of article published Jun 1, 2020

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Cape Town – After weeks of uncertainty, informal traders on the Grand Parade will open shop today following a ruling of the Western Cape High Court.

The traders took the City of Cape Town to court, demanding to resume trading after being told flea markets were among the places closed to the public.

The Legal Resources Centre (LRC), represented the informal traders, and on Friday said: “The City of Cape Town approached us for a settlement regarding the matter of the informal traders who sought operating permits to trade from the Grand Parade.

“Our clients will be allowed to trade during the lockdown period. Their businesses do not constitute a flea market, as previously argued by the City of Cape Town.”

Mayco member for urban management, Grant Twigg, said the City welcomed the agreement granted in a court order on Friday, which has “brought the clarity needed from national government to allow the Grand Parade traders to operate during lockdown”.

“Leading up to this agreement, the City was enforcing the National Regulations, which stated that flea markets were not allowed to operate under level 4. The LRC then engaged with the City on behalf of the traders.

“The City, as well as the Minister of Small Business Development, the Minister of Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs and the Minister of Police were respondents in the matter. 

"Now that the court order has been granted, we will be engaging with the trader associations for the Grand Parade on the way forward to ensure that the traders are able to earn a living during these tough economic times. 

"We will also advise on the Covid-19 trading protocols that will need to be implemented,” said Twigg.

SA Informal Traders Association (Saita) president Rosheda Muller said it was a victory that the informal traders were proud of.

“Our members are elated that they are going back to trading. Our traders have been well informed of the conditions of trading, the measures that have to be in place, the sanitisers, the masks.

“They are quite aware of how to trade and how to keep to physical distancing,” said Muller.

She said they had to take the legal route, as there were no alternative measures put in place for them.

“We had no other alternative but to seek legal advice.

“As Saita, we found that we could get support and we are proud to say that the LRC came on board and represented us.

“The suffering of the informal traders over the past 10 to 11 weeks has been severe, and many of them had to be helped by one or two of the other traders to assist and give them some food.

“We are extremely happy that this has happened and we are able to trade again, although there will be some old people who won’t be coming in to trade, due to some commodities. 

"We hope those who will be able to trade have a successful experience as we move forward,” said Muller.

Cape Times

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