DURBAN - The eThekwini Municipality has resolved to give informal traders affected by Covid-19 a rental holiday.
The municipality announced during the during the Informal Traders Indaba held at the Inkosi Albert Luthuli International Convention Centre today that it was giving informal traders and 18-month rental holiday.
Mayor Mxolisi Kaunda said informal trade is an important sector of the economy as it contributed over R9 billion to the GDP.
“A number of informal traders have been adversely affected by Covid-19 and the July civil unrest. Many are struggling to survive. This is among the reasons the City has finalised the approval of a rental holiday which means traders will not pay for business licenses, retail markets, itinerant traders, street traders, hive sites and container rentals until December 2022,” he explained.
The indaba was broadcast simultaneously at 13 venues across the City to accommodate traders from various regions.
The interventions agreed upon at the Indaba include: expanding and improving existing trading infrastructure and an 18-month rental holiday for informal traders affected by Covid-19 effective until December 2022.
The City will also empower informal traders through support programmes and will review the Trading Permit Allocation Policy.
Another resolution taken was to strengthen communication between the City and the informal traders’ sector by making the indaba an annual meeting.
The City said over the next three financial years, the municipality has budgeted R222 million to provide trading infrastructure which includes business hives, retail markets, traditional herbs and medicine markets, flea markets, buy back centres for cardboard recycling, food courts, shelters, kiosks, container parks, and storage facilities for traders’ goods as well as demarcated sites along street pavements.
Qhakaza Taxi Rank informal trader Nomusa Ntondini commended the municipality for finding solutions to the challenges they face.
“It has been difficult to provide for our families. After the municipality’s assistance to revive the business, we are doing well and are grateful for the support,” she said.
Another informal trader, Wiseman Mbatha said: “We are grateful for the assistance we have received from the municipality. This platform has assisted informal traders to speak out about our plight.”
The municipality added that the informal traders lauded the City’s leadership for the bold interventions that will be taken to respond to challenges in the sector.