/ 28 November 2013

Informal traders shut down Jo’burg CBD

Informal Traders Shut Down Jo'burg Cbd

Angry hawkers in Johannesburg forced businesses in the CBD to close on Thursday after the high court in Johannesburg ruled on Wednesday that an urgent application brought by the South African National Traders Retail Association and the South African Informal Traders Forum (SAITF) to have street traders in the city reinstated was not urgent and must therefore be struck off the roll.

The hawkers said they would not allow anyone to trade because the City of Johannesburg and the high court in Johannesburg were not taking them seriously.

"We are hungry. How are we supposed to feed our families this Christmas? They must all close," said vegetable vendor Dorcas Mlangeni.

Mlangeni said she had been trading along Kerk Street for over two years.

"We are losing income while officials get salaries and will have a good Christmas."

They walked in groups and forced shopkeepers along Kerk, Small, and Bree streets to close their doors.

Those who did not adhere to the instructions had stones thrown at them.

A defiant shopkeeper on Kerk Street was kicked at and hit with sticks.

He decided to oblige after a few of them tried to loot his shop.

The busy Small Street was also closed for business.

The South African Police Service and the Johannesburg metro police arrived minutes later as the shops remained closed.

The case was postponed to next year. – Sapa