Ricochet News

Informal traders receive permits

By Afikile Lugunya - Mar 14, 2018
Informal traders receive permits

Nelson Mandela Bay informal traders said they were excited to have received permits from the nelson Mandela Bay Municipality, which will enable them to conduct their businesses legally.

The permits were handed over to 23 informal traders located opposite the Ziyabuya Shopping Centre in KwaDwesi at an event attended by Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality Executive Mayor, Athol Trollip.

Trollip was accompanied by Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality Mayoral Committee Member for Economic Development, Tourism and Agriculture, Andrew Whitfield.

Whitfield explained that this is an ongoing process that will ensure local SMMEs abide by the laws of South Africa and there is protection for both the consumers and the traders.

“For example, if you are selling food, you must be compliant with all public health laws. This is a process to ensure that we legalise the opportunities that people have to trade, so that they don’t get removed without the municipality offering alternative options,” Whitfield explained.

“Most of the people that are trading on street corners don’t have permits, so we have to find a way to communicate with them and inform them that the law doesn’t support what they are doing.

“They cannot trade in intersections because the law doesn’t allow them to.”

He also said having a proper system in place will attract tourists and buyers from around the world.

While addressing the community, Trollip highlighted that South Africa has the highest unemployment rate and most of informal traders are women because fathers often run away leaving women to look after children, who have no other choice, but to sell in order to survive.

He added that the municipality recognises and admires them for their roles in the society, which is why it decided to help them get formalised.

Trollip said traders are important to the economy as they play a part in the tourism sector.

Phakama Masele, who is a salon owner since 2005, said she was happy that the government is finally recognising them as traders; however they would like more to be done.

“We need toilets, electricity and more police visibility in this area,” she described.

Masele told RNEWS that she was recently a victim of robbery while there is a police station right opposite their containers.

Fortunately, all her stuff was recovered from the perpetrator, who ran away after she raised alarm.

Fred Nwaigwe, who sells hair fibre and fabrics, said that his documents had been submitted to Home Affairs to check if he qualifies for the trading permits.

“I don’t have a problem with this law as long as they will abide to it by doing all that they have promised us. Making the place safe, making a fence, providing toilets and water plus electricity,” he said.

Nwaigwe also said he was concerned about safety adding that the police station opposite them doesn’t seem to scare criminals.

In order for informal traders to comply they must:

  • Be registered in the municipal Database as an informal Trader,
  • Have an informal Trading Permit issued by the municipality,
  • Trade on a site allocated by the Municipality (Three have been identified so far).

All informal traders, who want permits must visit municipal offices at Kwantu Towers, Vuyisile Mini square, Govan Mbeki Avenue, in Port Elizabeth, or call 041 506 2604.