Most of the trading kiosks at Bayside Bazaar are now empty and some have been demolished after traders were evicted on Friday April 9.
The small market opposite the Fish Hoek station is a far cry from what it was before it descended into a dirty and unsafe area with no toilet facilities for tenants.
Grant Twigg, mayoral committee member for urban management, said the traders had been given a 30-days relocation notice on Friday February 19, and they had had extra time, up until Wednesday April 7, to collect their belongings.
The area will be turned into a parking lot. It was declared out of bounds for traders after the promulgation of the new Fish Hoek informal trading plan on Friday January 22.
Earlier this month, traders claimed they had not been consulted and they pleaded with the City to compensate them for changes they had made to the kiosks and for their stock. However, the City said the traders had been renting the kiosks and any structural changes they had made to violated their agreements and the City could not be held liable.
Trader Chucks Nwanana, who has been trading at the site since 2005, said he felt defeated.
“My whole world has come crashing down, and I now have nothing.”
The City had cut their water and electricity on Thursday April 8 and had told them to be out the following day, he said.
His kiosk, from which he had run Chucks’ Family Salon, selling clothing, was now filled with metal sheets.
He said the City official who had evicted them on Friday morning had given him permission to keep the sheeting to build a house. He will be moving family from Masiphumelele to Macassar.
He had no space to store his stock and had sold some of it for less than it was worth and had given some away to a shop in the main road, he said.
Akbar Muhammad, who has worked for Aseeram’s Halaal Take-Aways for about 15-years, said he lived in Rylands and could not travel to Fish Hoek daily with a stove and a fridge to set up in one of the new open-air trading bays.
The City could have moved the kiosk to an empty spot next to the train station, he said.
“It’s a big piece of land, and it is not used. Why can’t we trade from there?”
Ocean View community activist and founder of the Cape Flats Wellness Centre, Aslam Richards, who represents another trader, Galiema Petersen, said Ms Petersen had tried to speak to the City official who had evicted the traders, but he had refused to talk to her.
Mr Richards said he had tried unsuccessfully to get hold of the official. Ms Petersen, he said, had taken all her stock home. She could not be reached for comment.
Mr Twigg said that due to the condition of the kiosks they could not be moved to an alternative site. They would be returned to the City’s enterprise and investment department, which would decide on what would happen to them.
The traders, he said, would have to continue with their business at the bays allocated by the City.