D-day looms for Stables Market
The eThekwini Municipality recently won a lengthy court battle against Glen Eden Trading, the company that manages the Stables. The Durban High Court ordered that the market vacate the premises by March 31.
One tenant, 63-year-old Elvin Rooplal of Newlands West, said he had been selling detergent and plasticware at the Stables on Wednesday and Friday afternoons and Saturday mornings for at least 16 years. He paid a rental of R2000 a month.
“I’ve attained many customers and managed to get outside business as well,” Rooplal said.
But now he has no idea where to turn to. “It will be a challenge; it will be difficult. As it is I have to cut down on medical aid and other things.”
Former textile worker Rooplal focused on his stall after being retrenched in 2009. “The Stables has a history for me and my family because my daughter was trading there. Then I told my wife it would be a good idea to invest in selling plastics,” he said.
Rooplal added that other tenants were solely reliant on their Stables income.
Yaser Nasif, head of Glen Eden Trading, said the municipality had closed the door on helping them find an alternative trading area. “They (municipality) are not offering anything,” he said.
He said that although things looked bleak, they were looking into a few options.
Municipal spokesperson Msawakhe Mayisela said the City was willing to hear the tenants and owners of the Stables to establish what their needs are and whether the City could assist them. “However, they would have to approach the relevant office. The eThekwini Municipality is a caring organisation and under no circumstances will it ruin the livelihoods of its residents.
The City has started the engagement process with the intention of hearing their grievances and together with them, map a way forward that will be beneficial to both parties.
“We are therefore appealing to be given the space to deliberate on this matter, and once the deliberations reach their final stage we will then communicate,” Mayisela said.