Tshwane denies 'recklessly' legalising informal trade
City spokesperson Selby Bokaba said all applicants for the Special Permission to Trade were expected to bring affidavits confirming ownership of business and address. Certified copies of IDs and a permit from the Department of Home Affairs for foreigners were also required, among other documents.
Informal food traders were expected to comply with the national regulations and sell essential products only and observe physical distancing.
Bokaba said 7503 special permissions to trade had been issued.
However, the Unified South Africa Traders has called on the City and its law enforcement agencies to urgently intervene against what it said was the ballooning numbers of illegal traders in Marabastad.
The organisation said there were more illegal traders now than before, because of bogus permits being sold and the inability from the City to follow the rule of law.
Its leader, Ramodike Morema, said the market in Marabastad was flooded by illegal traders, and 80% of them were illegal foreigners.
“We have confronted most of them and they don’t have the relevant documents to trade or be in the country.”
He said the market became more flooded when the City was issuing work permits for informal traders, and made the process a free-for-all. Previously, various councillors were implicated in allegedly issuing illegal permits to informal traders.
Morema said what was even more upsetting was that some illegal traders posed as sellers of fruit and vegetables or clothes, but in actual fact sold drugs.
“We have apprehended some, and have told law enforcement agencies, together with the City, but nothing seems to happen,” he said.
He said the City should not be afraid to tighten the rules out of fear of being labelled xenophobic.
He said they were well aware that in some countries like Angola, Tanzania and Nigeria, foreigners were not allowed to conduct business in certain informal sectors.
“We have strong organisational bodies that could help keep a close eye on such incidents of corruption, but we can do it alone. We need to work hand in hand with the City.” he said.
However, Bokaba dismissed the claims, saying these were incorrect.