THE Concerned Informal Traders Committee marched peacefully from The Workshop shopping centre to the Durban City Hall yesterday for priority to be given to local traders instead of emigrants. Picture: Mothswari Mofokeng / African News Agency (ANA)
THE Concerned Informal Traders Committee marched peacefully from The Workshop shopping centre to the Durban City Hall yesterday for priority to be given to local traders instead of emigrants. Picture: Mothswari Mofokeng / African News Agency (ANA)

March against foreign traders in Durban

By Zainul Dawood Time of article published Dec 9, 2020

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Durban - The Concerned Informal Vendors Association has demanded that all street trading stalls must be occupied by South Africans.

The association marched to the Durban City Hall on Tuesday to engage with the city leadership.

South African stallholders at the Church Walk Market (CWM) in the CBD have been closed for more than a week, allegedly by the association.

This is expected to have a ripple effect on other street trading sites in the city.

Stallholders at CWM said they traded in fear since the start of November when mobs shut down shops managed by emigrants from other African countries.

A fast-food stall owner, who employs 10 staff, said he was financially affected by the ongoing problems.

He said a group of thugs lurked in the vicinity and destabilised legitimate and licensed traders.

Traders pay a monthly licence fee to the city of about R500 a stall.

A stall owner who has been trading for two decades and requested to remain anonymous said he agreed with some of the sentiments expressed by the association.

“I have witnessed many changes. There should be scrutiny in the list of traders. Those with multiple stalls need to relinquish them. Established stallholders sold their places for large amounts of money to emigrants from other African countries. Foreign nationals have patience, even if they sell two items a day,” he said.

Association spokesperson Themba Mkhize said they were concerned about the influx of emigrants trading when the local community was unemployed. He said they were aware of stalls being sold to emigrants and had been at loggerheads with the city for six weeks trying to resolve this.

“There is too much corruption involved with street trading stalls. We want to administrate this process and ensure only local people own these stalls. We want a new system.

“Foreign nationals send their money back to their countries. Most don’t have proper documentation to be in the country. We don’t want people selling us sub-standard, expired or fake goods. This is not xenophobia.

We have been commended by certain businesses for removing these stalls selling fake goods,” Mkhize said.

eThekwini Municipality spokesperson Msawakhe Mayisela said the city was unaware of South African traders/stallholders selling their spaces or leasing out their stalls to emigrants.

The Daily News

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