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Informal traders welcome City’s plans to improve the sector

Date: 2021-10-25 10:09:15

Informal traders welcome City’s plans to improve the sector

ETHEKWINI informal traders have lauded the City’s leadership for the bold interventions that will be taken to respond to challenges in the sector. This follows a successful engagement between eThekwini Mayor Councillor Mxolisi Kaunda and informal traders at the Informal Traders Indaba. The Indaba was held at the Inkosi Albert Luthuli International Convention Centre on 22 September. It was broadcast simultaneously at 13 venues across the City to accommodate traders from various regions. Interventions agreed upon at the Indaba include expanding and improving existing trading infrastructure and an 18-month rental holiday for informal traders affected by Covid-19. This is effective until December 2022. 

The City will also empower informal traders through support programmes and will review the Trading Permit Allocation Policy.Another resolution taken was to make the Indaba an annual event. Mayor Kaunda said informal trade is an important sector of the economy as it contributed over R9 billion to the GDP. “A number of informal traders have been adversely affected by Covid-19 and the July civil unrest. Many are struggling to survive.

This is one of the reasons the City has approved the rental holiday which means traders will not pay for business licenses, retail markets, itinerant traders, street traders, hive sites and container rentals until December next year,” he said. Over the next three fi nancial years, the
Municipality has budgeted R222 million to provide trading infrastructure which includes business hives, retail markets, traditional herbs and medicine markets, fl ea markets, buy back centres for cardboard recycling, food courts, shelters, kiosks, container parks, and storage facilities for traders’ goods as well as demarcated sites along street pavements. Welcoming the interventions, Qhakaza Taxi Rank informal trader Nomusa Ntondini commended the Municipality for finding solutions to the challenges they face. Another informal trader, Wiseman Mbatha said: “We are grateful for the assistance we have received from the Municipality. This platform assisted informal traders to speak out about our plight.”