The City of Johannesburg has decided to extend the informal trading verification process currently underway.
The verification process began on Monday 4 November following meetings between city officials and the informal trading sector’s leadership to support, grow and create an enabling environment for those operating within this sector.
The purpose for verification was to understand the needs, challenges and concerns of both parties with a view to making informed decisions about spatial planning, future interventions and allocations to promote informal trading within the ambit of the city’s bylaws.
This process is ongoing which is why the City has decided to extend the timeframe to ensure meaningful decisions are made that wholly impact on the lives, well-being, working environment and bottom-line of our valued citizens that operate within this sector.
One must understand the magnitude and scope of the sector. The sheer volume of informal trading, therefore, brings with it unique challenges such as increased congestion, illegal dumping, public urination, infrastructure maintenance, the enforcing of bylaws and potential urban decay.
As part of the verification process, site visits were conducted with officials from the city as well as the leadership of the informal traders.
In just the past week alone it has emerged that:
There are discrepancies between the allocated stalls on the City’s database and the number of stalls observed. This reveals that some non-demarcated areas were illegally being occupied by traders;
Over-Demarcation is a major issue with traders being allocated smaller areas creating overcrowding and minimal movement and trading space; and,
The stands are being traded and leased illegally.
The verification process was initially meant to focus on just 7 key streets but it was later agreed with the Informal trading sector leadership to extended to 17 streets.
Once the verification process is complete a report will be presented to the City for the way-forward. The City is confident that, once this is done, key solutions can be found and that all parties will benefit.
Informal trading in Johannesburg and, indeed, the rest of the country is a vital cog in economic development and sustainable living while creating formal employment and a vibrant local economy.
The informal trading sector is vital to the city’s long-term, economic development plans as well as to the social fabric of the city.