June 24, 2017

News:

Council acts as vendors swamp streets

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Pavement vendor nuisance … Unlicensed street vendors occupy the slightest available space in town

Pavement vendor nuisance … Unlicensed street vendors occupy the slightest available space in town

“Of course, the municipality is committed to facilitating the growth of the sector, but it has to be done in an orderly manner . . .”

The Mangaung Metropolitan Municipality (MMM) plans to erect stalls for vendors in a bid to regulate the proliferation of illegal vending which has seen many unlicensed vendors operating in inhabitable areas.

This was disclosed by MMM spokesperson Qondile Khedama, who acknowledged the challenge posed by the mushrooming of vendors in certain parts of the city.

The city, which is an economic and cultural hub of the province, has over the years experienced an uncontrolled influx of informal traders flooding the streets in down town Bloemfontein, leaving them to run their businesses in rat-infested spots where sewage spillage is the order of the day.

“We are very much aware of the influx of vendors and their operations in inhabitable areas. Illegal vendors interfere with the demarcation rules set out in the municipal by-laws.

“However, this does not rule out the informal sector’s contribution to the economy. Of course, the municipality is committed to facilitating the growth of the sector, but it has to be done in an orderly manner,” Khedama said.

He pointed out that erecting proper stalls for the vendors would minimize the sprouting of illegal ones, adding the council had already commenced work at stalls in Botshabelo and Bloemfontein would follow in due course.

Elaborating on the challenges posed, Khedama said it was a tedious exercise for the environmental health department to do regular inspections as most of the vendors had not obtained trading licences.

In an interview with The Weekly, one of the vendors said she had been sustaining her livelihood through informal trading since 1989 when she left her home in Mafeteng, Lesotho, in search of greener pastures.

The vendor, who opted for anonymity, said illegal vending was the only course open to her since she could not apply for a license because she is not a South African citizen.
The municipality’s by-laws give the police the power to impound any goods, container, vehicle or structure which contravenes its by-laws.

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