PRESS RELEASE: Mitchells Plain Traders Facing Eviction Next Week

11 09 2009

Yesterday, September 10, 2009, in the Mitchells Plain Town Centre, the concerned Traders were informed that the City of Cape Town would not attend the meeting that was scheduled by Traders.  CHATA (Concerned Hawkers and Traders Association) was informed of this cancellation on the grounds that the city claims they cannot negotiate with the Traders. The meeting was intended by CHATA to inform the city of the irregularities and unfair & unconstitutional policies that have become implemented in the renovation and relocation process of the Town Centre. City representative, Mr. Fritz, informed CHATA chairperson, Mischka Cassiem, that the city cannot meet the “demands” of the Traders. The city also claimed that the trader umbrella body must be consulted by CHATA with any further questions about the process.

CHATA feels that this is a poor and lame excuse. The city wants Traders to hear from other Traders the issues that the city has imposed. This makes the city not liable for the rules and unconstitutional provisions that they have put in place in order to further their own agenda and control the Traders. If Traders have questions on the relocation process that will inevitably evict over half of the current Traders, the city should me more than willing to answer these questions and at least attend meetings that have been called. CHATA knows that the city did not attend the meeting because it has also recently become aware of the fact that CHATA is now affiliated with SAMWU, COSATU and StreetNet. The strength of the traders will not be broken.

Mitchells Plain Town Centre Traders have been under the threat of eviction for over two months now. New bays have been numbered and allocated in a process that is undemocratic. The consulting party for the City of Cape Town has informed Traders that the relocation will begin next week. Mr. Paul Williamson of the City of Cape Town was supposed to issue letters informing Traders about the next phase of the relocation, but these letters were never received. There is currently an investigation on the urban renewal program in Mitchells Plain, so why is the city still moving forward with the relocation process? The process should be stopped until at least the investigation has been completed. Mr. Waleed George is also no longer the facilitator and consultant between the city and the traders as his contract was terminated by the city. What is happening in Mitchells Plain? Why is the city not following through with its demands? Why are the Traders not being informed?

The issue is pressing and the livelihoods of many traders are at stake.

Contact: Mischka Cassiem 0731286657 or 0745257336

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