Media: Vendors lash out at city

24 11 2009

Rafiq Wagiet | 24 November 2009 | Eyewitness News

Informal traders on Tuesday slammed the City of Cape Town on its failure to consult with them.
Close to 200 vendors gathered outside the Cape Town Civic Centre for a demonstration.

Most were upset over being banned from trading on the Grand Parade for three months next year when they have to make way for a FIFA fan park.

They argued the city was taking away their livelihood.

The traders said the fan park would not benefit them, adding the city was playing with their daily bread.

Informal traders take to CT streets
Liesl Smit | 24 November 2009 | Eyewitness News

Informal traders from across the Cape Peninsula were planning a picket outside the Civic Centre on Tuesday against the evictions of traders, despite the City of Cape Town’s call for them to cancel it.

The Western Cape Informal Traders Coalition claimed its members were continuously harassed by law enforcement officials.

The coalition said it had begged the city in previous meetings to consult and negotiate with traders before resorting to heavy handed evictions, but so far the city had failed to respond.

The coalition’s spokesperson Rashida Miller said the picket was going ahead.

“We have been waiting for the city for the past 30 days for a workshop which has not materialised. There’s no date or venue in place. And in the meantime, containers are being lifted, people’s goods are being confiscated. A lot of harassment is taking place.”

The city’s Paul Williamson said they did call for a meeting on Thursday with the coalition as well as a cancellation of the picket.

“Our executive director had a discussion with Rashida Miller. In terms of that discussion, the picket has been called off and the city has undertaken to meet with the coalition.”

(Edited by Danya Philander)

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