Informal trading

Informal trading is either regulated so that the locations and numbers of informal traders can be managed, or it’s the Wild West, according to Ward 15 councillor Greg Peck.

“The current position is that in terms of the National Small Business Act, traders can trade anywhere as long as they have a council permit,” Mr Peck told Bolander .

“The City of Cape Town’s (informal trading) by-law with a provincial proclamation in the gazette, will regulate who and where traders must and may trade. Each ward in the metro is to implement this regulated trading plan and limit the traders to specific areas that have been demarcated and built as per the agreed public participation process.”

He said over the last few months, he has attended a number of meetings with interested and affected parties – residents, business owners, civic organisations – but that the response has generally been negative: setting up defined trading areas is deemed unacceptable.

But as Mr Peck has pointed out, a number of the informal traders affected by the outcome of the current debate, have been trading in Somerset West for many years.

“A blanket no to the proposed informal trading plan will just leave us with the status quo, which is unmanageable and not in the best interests of anyone,” Mr Peck emphasised.

The proposed site off the R44 at the Steynsrust Bridge, which would have accommodated up to 24 traders, is off the table, because of the planned upgrading of the R44 at that location, which will include a new bridge across the R44, and new on- and off-ramps, in accordance with plans for a significant upgrade to the route between Somerset West and Stellenbosch, by the provincial government of the Western Cape.

Instead, a new site opposite the Spar at the Old Stellenbosch Road and Helderberg College Road intersection, is proposed.

“It is next to an existing commercial zoned area, there are already traders at that intersection, the area is large enough to have the traders well off the road with access for client parking. In addition, traders from Steynsrust Bridge, at the meeting in January, proposed that the alternate site should be near to their current site, and if possible near an intersection,” Mr Peck said. “Four bays are proposed, for the sale of food, flowers, plants and wood.”

The additional sites proposed for Ward 15 informal trading areas, as a result of the consultations that have taken place, are as follows, according to Mr Peck.

Fifteen bays on the R44, opposite Niblick Way and the Sanctuary shopping centre, for the sale of furniture, wooden items, arts and crafts; four bays on the corner of Pollock and Victoria roads for the sale of wooden items, arts and crafts; two bays on De Beers Avenue, opposite Gordon High School for the sale of food and cold drinks only; and four bays on Main Road, next to the bus stop, near Puddle Duck Farm Day Care, for the sale of wooden items, arts and crafts.

“These proposed sites will be suggested to officials of the City of Cape Town when we meet with them on March 14 to discuss this matter, along with any further suggestions from the community about where informal trading sites should be located, and what should be sold there,” Mr Peck said.

“The City will then draft plans for residents to view as part of a new public participation process.”