Statement by the United Green Point Traders Alliance
When the construction of the new 2010 stadium in Green Point Cape Town, was underway the city under the leadership of the DA and ID, promised that all the current informal traders (at Green point market) would be given alternative accomodation to trade, and that when the 2010 soccer world cup was over, they would be allowed back into the stadium forecourt.
Now the city has gone back on its word. There are currently over 400 traders but only 269 bays have been allocated at the new alternative site (the bowling green parking lot in Western Boulevard); in addition the city has imposed a new condition that only 25% of the traders should sell curios. Currently 80% of the traders deal with curios, and most of them are foreign nationals. The rules of the city fans the flame of divisions, fans the flames of xenophobia. The apartheid parties were masters of divide and rule – they get the masses to fight each other, while big capital laughs all the way to the bank.
The tactics of the city, of forced removals and then broken promises, shows that the DA has not broken from its apartheid heritage. If the DA and the ID cannot even keep their promises to 400 informal traders, what about the rest of the impoverished masses? The exclusion of many informal traders (many of whom have been there for 10 – 15 years) shows the myth of the much proclaimed free market of the DA. This ‘free market’ is in fact the domination of the capitalist class and death and starvation for the working class and the lower middle class.
All the traders want is a space to trade.
For weeks the United Greep Point Traders Alliance (UGPTA) tried to get a negotiated agreement with the city, to no avail. Tomorrow, Sunday 15 Feb 2009, the UGPTA will be staging a picket from 8am to 12 noon, outside the new trading area in Western Boulevard, Green Point to highlight their demands. It is noted that the trading area is a prime spot that the capitalist Cape Town Partnership appears to be eyeing. Among the slogans raised will be:
2010+ DA+ ID = forced removals and starvation
world’s best mayor = responsible for hunger and starvation
For further comment on the protest call (from the UGPTA):