City calls for comment on traders’ relocation

A proposed plan will see 24 Gatesville informal traders being moved to a closed lane.

The City has called on the public to submit their comments on the proposed plan to move Gatesville informal traders to reduce congestion and promote social distancing, but the informal traders affected are not in total agreement with the plan.

The public have until Tuesday March 30 to submit their comments.

The plan involves relocating 24 informal traders to a closed lane on Old Klipfontein Road, between Hazel and Doreen roads. There will also be road restrictions in this area.

According to the City’s mayoral committee member for Urban Management, Grant Twigg, this option was chosen because it would have the most impact without major disruption to users. He said the proposed plan would be a six-month pilot, and would be reviewed over this time to ensure its efficacy.

Since last year, several consultation meetings have been held with both formal and informal businesses to explore the various options, he said.

The proposed temporary relocation will only happen on Fridays and Saturdays from 6am to 6pm.

“Gatesville is a popular economic hub for both formal and informal businesses, which usually attracts many people, leading to congestion in the area, especially over weekends.

“Based on this, the City’s Urban Management Directorate started engaging with stakeholders last year, including businesses and informal traders, as well as internal departments, to discuss a proposed proactive short-term intervention to reduce congestion and promote social distancing in the Gatesville CBD so trading can continue safely, while adhering to Covid-19 protocols.

“In addition to this proposal, the City has also distributed tool kits to all the informal traders and actioned awareness campaigns,” said Mr Twigg.

Imtiaz Shaik, a member of the Gatesville Informal Traders Association who is mandated to speak on behalf of the 24 traders, said they were “happy with 50% of the plan”.

“There is more congestion between Doreen and Mavis roads, and is especially hectic on a Saturday. Formal businesses get deliveries on a Friday, but there are no loading bays on the plan.

“We suggested that the plan can be implemented on a Saturday only, as it is not as busy on a Friday. There are also lots of drivers parking illegally in the area. I have invited Mr Twigg to spend an hour with me on a Saturday, to show him where the challenges are. To us, the plan as it is, only constitutes half of what we suggested to the City. However, we are not fighting with the City, we are happy they are at least trying,” Mr Shaik said.

The proposal is available for viewing on the City’s website: www.capetown.gov.za/haveyoursay and every Tuesday at the Sub-council 17 offices at the Dulcie September (Athlone) civic centre, on the corner of Protea and Klipfontein roads, until Tuesday March 30.

Comments, inputs or recommendations can be submitted by email: informal.trading@capetown.gov.za or website: www.capetown.gov.za/haveyoursay or it can be dropped off at the Sub-council 17 office.

The City of Cape Town’s Public Participation Unit will assist people who cannot read and write, people living with a disability and people from disadvantaged groups who are unable to submit written comments. For more information on the proposed plan or for assistance from the City’s Public Participation Unit, contact Zandile Mahlasela via email Zandile.mahlasela@capetown.gov.za or call 021 400 550.