12 May 2020
The Legal Resources Centre challenges the City of Cape Town’s decision to deny operating permits to informal traders
The Legal Resources Centre has been approached by the South Africa Informal Trader Alliance (SAITA) for legal assistance and intervention regarding the issuing of permits by the City of Cape Town, to informal traders who operate from the Grand Parade.
The traders approached the City of Cape Town for permits to trade within the constraints of level 4 of the lockdown regulations. They were advised by the City that “flea markets” are not allowed to operate during the lockdown and that they should rather apply for the R350 Social Relief of Distress grant.
In light of this, on the 8 th of May, the LRC wrote a letter to the City of Cape Town on behalf of SAITA, and in the public interest, requesting the City to reconsider their position on the following: firstly, t he Grand Parade Square six-day retail outlet/market is not deemed a flea market/fete/bazaar. Secondly, flea markets such as Oranjezicht farmers market and the Dreyer Street market which are on private property, have been allowed to operate during the level 4 lockdown period.
The Grand Parade Square has had a lease agreement with the City of Cape Town Municipality since 1995. This agreement allows informal traders, who provide essential goods within the Grand Parade Square, to operate. The services provided by these informal traders are no different to those provided by conventional retail stores that offer the same essential goods to their customers.
The City’s legal advisor informed the LRC that they would not be able to respond to our letter by 15:00PM on the 11 th of May as requested in our letter, and that they would require more time. We have however informed the City that they have until 12:00PM the 13 th of May 2020 to respond, on the basis that our clients lose income daily, and their situation is becoming dire.
Issued by the Legal Resources Centre
Tel: 011 038 9709