Informal traders have lost their livelihoods, says DA

Informal traders in Johannesburg have lost income following a programme by the city to halt trade in order for hawkers to be registered, the Democratic Alliance (DA) said on Wednesday.

"Informal traders have lost their livelihoods and once bustling parts of the central business district stand eerily quiet," DA MP Les Labuschagne said.

He said the informal sector played a critical role in supporting many families.

"Their initiative and drive must be supported by the economic development department and should grow from the street to the shop as they already demonstrate an entrepreneurial spirit," he said.

"The DA calls on Gauteng economic development MEC Eric Xayiya to intervene in the on-going Joburg inner city street traders' saga."

The informal trade sector should not be neglected as it contributed more than three-million jobs countrywide, he said.

The MEC's office could not immediately be reached for comment.

The City of Johannesburg has been conducting a process to register all traders on the streets. It was started after the city found discrepancies between the allocated stalls on the city's database and the number of stalls counted on the streets.

The city found that several traders were being allocated smaller areas, creating overcrowding. In addition some stands were being traded and leased illegally.

An application by the South African National Traders Retail Alliance to stop the City of Johannesburg from removing informal traders from the streets was postponed in the city's high court on Tuesday, Eyewitness News reported. The matter would return to court next week. – Sapa

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