Adderley Street vendors sell their wares on the pavement. Picture: Courtney Africa/African News Agency (ANA)
Adderley Street vendors sell their wares on the pavement. Picture: Courtney Africa/African News Agency (ANA)

Cape traders slam ‘dompas’ permit system

By Chevon Booysen Time of article published Nov 10, 2019

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Cape Town - The SA Informal Traders Alliance (Saita) slammed the proposed e-permit system which the City intends to introduce to the Grand Parade trading space, likening it to that of a “dompas”.

It comes after the City earlier last week announced a plan to modernise the trading space at the Grand Parade with an e-permit system.

Saita president and chairperson of the Grand Parade United Traders, Rosheda Miller said informal traders felt their suggestions were ignored and the City was bypassing the association and its hard work over many years.

“Our organisations had sit downs and round-table engagements with the City where we shared our views and proposals. However, the informal sector is not being properly acknowledged as a business sector in the CBD.

“The City has gone and done what they think is good for us instead of taking our proposals seriously.

“The new permit system they intend to introduce to us as informal trade organisations, we see as nothing but a dompas system.

“The City wants to control everybody and dictate to us.

“We are not happy at all with this proposed system,” said Miller.

Miller said the organisations did not accept the system as they felt bullied by the City.

Mayoral committee member for urban management, Grant Twigg on Tuesday said: “The Urban Management Directorate has sophisticated plans to transform the newly upgraded Grand Parade market into a modern, vibrant, commercially sustainable environment through its e-permit system with individual traders.”

The intention is to implement an e-permit system that will allow each individual trader to apply for a permit, until such time that the Markets Management Framework is adopted by the City later during this financial year, Twigg said.

“The move to e-permits is supported by the fact that many leases with trader associations are expired and existing month-to-month leases are not aligned with current financial regulations that require the City to undertake stringent and transparent processes when transferring ownership of property or providing management by external bodies,” Twigg added.

The City has month-to-month lease agreements with the trader associations, who in turn lease out the trading bays to each informal trader operating in that precinct.

Twigg, who envisions the new system proposal to be given the green light in 2020, said the City was expecting about 250 more traders to sign up for the new e-permit system with more bays to be made available.

“Subsequently, it will promote more trading per day than is currently the case. In similar markets such as the Green Market Square, the size of the trading bay is 2x2m and street trading bays are in most cases 2x1m. The City, therefore, proposed bigger bays ranging from 3x3m to 6x6m,” said Twigg.

“It is alleged that currently trader associations charge close onto R1000 per month per trading a bay.

“It is the City’s intention to charge between R250 and R500 for bays ranging from 3x3m to 6x6m.

‘‘With the e-permit system, traders will pay directly to the City,” said Twigg.

Cape Times

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