Last week, the group handed over a memorandum to mayor Zandile Gumede and Economic Development and Tourism MEC Sihle Zikalala’s offices, demanding grievances be addressed in seven days.
Nico Magwaza, MUC chairperson, said committees for trading zones around the city were against the “bulldozing” of traders out of the city.
“An independent commission of inquiry into the trading sites allocation policy, the allocation procedure and breach of the policies must be established. We are also calling for the removal of committee members implicated in wrongdoing,” he said.
The MUC also called for the maintenance of facilities on all market and street sites.
Mandla Nsele, the municipality’s spokesperson, confirmed Gumede’s receipt of the memorandum. Nsele warned against seeking to dedicate urban spaces solely to informal traders.
“Overcrowding pavements affects businesses in town and the city loses much-needed investment. Those who trade illegally do so in contravention of city by-laws. According to discussions with formal traders, we are aware that the Inner City Regeneration Implementation Plan is supported. This is contrary to what is being alleged by the committee.”
He said investors had complained of not being able to make use of buildings with illegal traders outside.
“The city will continue to engage both legal and illegal informal traders until we find a long-lasting solution,” he said.
Bongani Tembe, Zikalala’s spokesperson, said they had assigned a senior official to look into the grievances.