Media: Traders take to CTN streets

24 02 2010

2010-02-24 05:06:26 – Voice of the Cape

“Down with Premier Helen Zille and Mayor Dan Plato.” These were some of the chants that could be heard as several angry informal traders and hawkers took to the streets on Tuesday morning in protest of new rules and regulations regarding the informal sector, which was implemented late last year. Traders from Bellville, Mitchells Plain and Cape Town gathered at Keizergracht to march to the City of Cape Town’s offices in the CBD.The memorandum handed over to the City of Cape Town’s Paul Williamson was read by Mishka Cassiem from the Concerned Hawkers and Traders Association (CHATA) on behalf of the Western Cape Crisis Coalition. “We demand our right to trade within the City of Cape Town and that the City of Cape Town make land available for us within the City. As South Africans we are thrilled to be part of the development of Cape Town station and that the world cup is taking place in South Africa,” said Cassiem.


She explained that as traders they find themselves being victimized and traumatized by the City and Intersite. At least 800 traders along with their helpers and dependents have lost their jobs. According to the Cassiem, over 1,000 people are currently jobless and 1000 families have been left with no bread on their table. “Over 3,000 children will stop going to school because their parents could not pay their school fess and over 300 people will be evicted by their landlords because they can not pay their rent,” said Cassiem.

At the start of the construction of the Cape Town stadium, Cassiem said they had agreed with Intersite that the traders move from place to place at the Cape Town station while they are busy with renovations to the top deck station market. “But what a surprise when we find we must leave and must go to Vasco or Bothehuewel, because the City of Cape Town could not find a place for the traders in the City. We are traders of Cape Town, we belong in Cape Town, not in Botheheuwel , Vasco, Parow or Bellville. We want to trade in Cape Town,” said Cassiem.

The memorandum also questioned why Intersite could not allocate the informal traders on the available space on the station. In addition to this they have also demanded the parking lot on the Cape Town station deck be given to the traders, to trade temporarily unit the market on the station deck is complete. They have also demanded to trade during the FIFA 2010 Soccer World Cup.


Meanwhile, a memorandum from CHATA was also handed to Williamson who accepted the document on behalf of the Mayor of Cape Town Dan Plato. The memorandum detailed concerns about how the umbrella body for traders was formed in Mitchells Plain. According to Cassiem, there still some unresolved issues around the permit system which the City has implemented and the eviction of informal traders from their trading bays.

“We requested a re-election of the umbrella body that has catered for themselves, friends and families who are not traders in the Town Centre. We would like this re-election to take place as soon as possible,” said Cassiem, adding that CHATA had not been informed of any further developments with regards to where the traders would be moved.

She said that it was decided at a workshop which was held last year during October that traders who want to move to the new trading site was at liberty to do so and those who wanted to remain at the old trading site could continue to trade. They have also requested that the City of Cape Town to let them know when enforcement law would be evicting them from their current areas of trade. VOC (Dorianne Arendse)




One response

28 02 2010
CHATA: City’s no permit, no trading doctrine is a threat to trader livelihoods « Western Cape Anti-Eviction Campaign

[…] Shoprite and Pick n’ Pay stand to benefit. Last Tuesday (23rd February) CHATA went out and protested against the City’s treatment of traders throughout the metropole.  CHATA handed their own memorandum to Mr Paul Williamson who did not […]

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