Have your say on informal trading

Bassirou Diaw, from Bass Meather Man, in his shop.

A Fish Hoek civic group has given the thumbs down to a revised City plan for informal trading in Fish hoek.

The plan – which has not yet been made available for public comment – proposes three trading bays – one 6m x 6m and two 3m x 2m – for the corner of Recreation Road and 1st Avenue; one 3m x 2m bay for the corner of Recreation and Main Road; two 3m x 1m bays for the corners of Main and Central roads; one 3m x 1m bay on Main Road; eight bays – four 2m x 2m and four 2m x 3m – for Dunster Avenue and Main Road; one 2m x 1m bay on Beach Road at the Fish Hoek bus station; and two trailers on 3m x 3m bays on the corner of Central Circle and 5th Avenue.

It will cost R93 a month to rent a bay, no matter the size, according to the plan, and all traders must have a valid South African ID or relevant work permits, and a business licence if food is being made or sold.

However, the Fish Hoek Valley Ratepayers’ and Residents’ Association (FHVRRA) said bays on the pavement, such as those at Town Square, prevent wheelchair access between the vendor and the pavement.

FHVRRA chairman Brian Youngblood said that on any given day, at least one wheelchair could be seen in the Fish Hoek CBD.

The community, he said, felt trading bays were often untidy and sources of rubbish. The City could do a lot by adding properly serviced waste bins instead of relying upon Expanded Public Works Programme workers to sweep the area once a day.

He said there were two leather-goods stands already at Town Square, and informal traders should not be competing among themselves nor should they be competing with Bass Leather Man, a leather goods manufacturer and retailer in a shop on Upper Recreation Road.

Informal traders selling socks, caps, backpacks and luggage were in direct competition with AP Jones, which was established more than a 100 years ago in Fish Hoek, he said.

In its objection, the association says the Bayside Bazaar containers are an eyesore and a source of pollution because oil is dumped into the stormwater drain that leads to the beach.

However, it feels Bayside Bazaar will be the most suitable place for all bays as train passengers are probably most likely to buy from informal vendors.

Mr Youngblood said that while provision had been made for bays, for seven days a week, at the civic centre, the station, the taxi rank, Main Road next to Warren’s Pharmacy, Town Square, Shoprite, along First Avenue and Main Road and Recreation Road opposite Wellwood Chapel, many of the demarcated bays were always empty, and the two at the civic centre were not placed well as one was in front of the only bench at the civic centre, a bench on which the elderly often sat, and the other was at the civic centre entrance in front of banners.

“Fish Hoek is clearly not a sustainable area for pavement vendors,” he said.

Mr Youngblood said the majority consensus from the association’s members was that none would buy food items other than a properly packaged “boerie” roll that they had watched being cooked.

“Without the provision of water and sanitation, food preparation should not be allowed by the City’s health department,” Mr Youngblood said.

Bassirou Diaw, owner of Bass Leather Man in Recreation Road, said he did not lose any business due to informal traders and did not have a problem with them. He
said he made his own products by hand and had regular customers who supported him.

Lahae Sene, the owner of an informal bay at Town Square, said he would welcome better facilities by the City. He has been at Town
Square for six years.

He said he was looking for a shop to lease because he often had problems with theft and product damage from the sun and rain.

He said it was difficult to trade with another bay selling the same goods, next to him.

Objections and suggestions can
be sent to Deon.Louw@capetown.gov.za