Informal traders oppose City of Cape Town’s proposed CBD trading plan
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Cape Town – Disgruntled Grand Parade traders have vowed to seek legal opinion should the City “insist” to implement the Central Business District (CBD) trading plan without their support and approval.
This comes after the City’s Urban Management Directorate invited the public to comment on the proposed draft informal trading plans for the CBD last month, citing that changes in trading dynamics triggered the need to review the current plans.
The public participation process was open for comment from March 1 and closed on March 31.
The Grand Parade informal traders have raised numerous concerns over the trading plans, including unsafe demarcations and restrictions to the proposed trading hours.
In a letter to the City, dated March 26, Grand Parade Traders Forum (GPTF) chairperson Riedewaan Charles said should the City insist or attempt the implementation, they would have no alternative but to seek legal opinion to halt it.
“GPTF is of the view that this City has, over the past two years, disregarded our input in relation to the then trading plan which, at that time, was rejected by us. That the City now presents an identical trading plan for the Grand Parade is both disingenuous and an insult to our intelligence.
’’We have to wonder if this City intended to undermine the process of negotiation, or whether it ever had any intentions of even considering our suggestions or proposals in the first instance,” he said.
“While we have no current objections to the trading plan being rolled out in the rest of the CBD, it must be remembered that the Grand Parade has a specific set of dynamics not found anywhere else and, therefore, implementation of any plan must be viewed from that angle.
’’We stand ready to renegotiate the clauses, terms, and conditions as currently set out, and call for a meeting with the decision makers as a matter of priority,” Charles said.
The City said the correspondence is a submission, as required in terms of the Informal Trading By-law public participation process, and “comments received during the public participation period for the CBD informal trading plan, including this correspondence, will be considered and compiled in a report to council for a decision".