A file picture of Denneboom taxi rank informal traders in Mamelodi looking on helplessly while others try to save their stock as their stalls are being demolished.
THE ongoing impasse between informal traders in Denneboom and the Mamelodi Mall developers, Isibonelo Property Services, is headed to the Gauteng High Court, Pretoria.

This is despite the developers painting a rosy picture of the R1.3billion mall construction, announcing that it would be officially completed in eight months.

The traders' legal representative Louise Du Plessis, of Lawyers for Human Rights, said they were given “a preferential trial date for the contempt of court order in October”.

She said the case against the developers stemmed from their unwillingness to abide by the court order forcing them to provide sufficient containers for traders as an alternative trading space.

Disappointed traders approached the court last November to seek a legal remedy after Isibonelo failed to abide by the court order obtained against them in February last year.

In terms of the order, traders were expected to relocate from a trading space earmarked as a site for the mall construction after they had been provided with sufficient containers.

Meanwhile, some traders operated their small businesses amid the rubble and dust created by workers building the mall. They told the Pretoria News that they were left with no choice but to squat anywhere they could find the space.

Their leader, Mary Choma, this week said developers seemed to have forgotten that traders were still short of containers. “There is no communication forthcoming from them. They promised to give us more containers, but they never did. We have no choice but to squat wherever we are able to find a space.”

Choma said traders were constantly victimised by the developers who threatened to call police to remove them because they were obstructing construction work.

Traders previously said it was untrue that they were against the development, saying they were aggrieved by the bad treatment they received from developers, who had allegedly refused to respect the court order.

The court last year ordered that Isibonelo and the City provide informal traders with 20 containers by the end of November, but only 16 containers were delivered.

Last year, Du Plessis said: “Both Isibonelo and the City have failed to comply fully with the order with regard to the supply and delivery of containers.

“They have failed to comply at all with the other clauses of the court order once again. Their conduct not only demonstrates they do not care about the compromised position they have placed the traders in - traders who worked hard to make a modest honest income - but also demonstrates a flagrant disregard of the court and disrespect of the judiciary.”

Isibonelo boss Shadrack Mthethwa said the company complied with the court order by supplying traders with 25 containers, which were more than what the court ordered them to do.