Thursday , January 20 2022

City of Joburg nears completion of street trader policy


MMC for Economic Development, Leah Knott.

It is difficult to accurately measure the size of the informal sector in the South African economy.

This is according to the City of Joburg's MMC for Economic Development Leah Knott who added, however, that the estimate puts the informal sector between 7 and 13 per cent of the total economy.
"Given the unacceptably high levels of unemployment, the City of Joburg acknowledges the valuable role that the informal sector plays in providing large numbers of our residents with a means to feed themselves and their families," said Knott in a statement.

"The current administration promotes entrepreneurial spirit but at the same time needs to strike a balance between trading and the needs of all other residents and businesses, with a focus on maintaining the rule of law as well as health compliance."

She also emphasizes that due to the very nature of street trading and hawking arriving at a solution that satisfies all stakeholders, from trader to taxi associations as well as residents and business owners can prove difficult.

"Admittedly, the City in the past has fallen down when it comes to consistent implementation of agreed action plans and their ineffective management of this sector resulted in stressful relationships and immersed the City in unnecessary litigation," said Knott. remedy these issues by embarking on a process to produce a new street trader policy that involves the input of all affected parties.

"The Department of Economic Development began by consulting with all trader and hawker associations in order to understand their requirements and historical issues."

Regional investigations were also conducted to identify additional areas for traders and hawkers. This process involves a comprehensive head count of traders per region. This consultative process has now been completed and a draft policy has been submitted for legal investigation.

"The final policy is planned to serve before the Council in March of 2019. By January of next year we will have procured our new permit system and will also be able to begin budgeting for new ablution facilities to service traders," she adds.

The new policy, along with improved resources, is expected to allow the City to support and regulate trading more consistently.

"The City firmly believes in consultation as it enhances the collective sense of fairness and acceptance. We are committed to defeating unemployment and boosting small business, but we must also respect the rule of law. The City can not ignore the actions of individuals who refuse to accept any form of regulation and do not respect the rights of others, "the statement concluded.

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