Informal traders incensed at the City’s clampdown on trading stalls which contravene the Land Use Planning Ordinance and city by-laws, have threatened to disrupt service delivery during the 2010 World Cup.
On Tuesday about 300 traders marched to the Civic Centre demanding that they City of Cape Town officials involve them in decision making regarding issues which concern them.
The traders gave the city seven working days to respond to their grievances or they would make Cape Town “ungovernable come 2010″, they said.
While traders are unhappy about the clampdown of businesses run on sidewalks or from shipping containers placed on land not zoned for business, they are also upset over the City not including them in 2010 World Cup plans.
Singing and dancing while carrying placards reading “we demand to be consulted now rather than later or we will make Cape Town ungovernable”, the marchers handed their memorandum to City’s business manager Paul Williamson.
Speaking on behalf of over 10 informal traders’ associations, chairperson of the Western Cape Informal Traders association Charles Riedewaan said 288 informal traders had their businesses shut down this year in Bellville alone.
Due to the Grand Parade being an official FIFA fan zone come the World Cup, he said 100 of the 250 informal traders there faced eviction.
Riedewaan said the City had told them that they don’t have provision for informal traders and could only accommodate a few during the World Cup.
“We want him (Cape Town Mayor Dan Plato) to stop the evictions so that we may sit with him with all the concerned and affected parties.
“We oppose to the City’s strategy of sending eviction letters to our members without consulting with us,” he said.
On Tuesday Plato was meeting informal traders from Mitchells’s Plain and the Grand Parade about their benefiting from the World Cup, but Riedewaan asked: “What is the point of talking with one group and evicting the others?”
Bellville informal trader David Willy said his stall was shut down about a month ago. He said he was told not to open again because there was no space for him in Bellville.
Willy said he operated out of a shipping container and sold airtime, ran a cobbling business and fixed electrical appliances.
He said his stall had been his only form of income and now he was unable to put food on the table and his three children were going hungry.