Crisis Meeting – City of Johannesburg Officials and Street Traders to meet today

11 May 2012

An urgent meeting will be held at Metropolitan Center on May 11, 2 pm. It has been facilitated by the Johannesburg Economic Development Department between city officials and street trader leaders. The meeting takes place against a background of allegations of continued abuse of Johannesburg street traders by members of the Johannesburg Metro Police Department with the high profile incident at Ivory Park being one of many incidents of abuse, plundering and looting of street trader stalls by city officials.

SANTRA has tabled for discussion an immediate end to punitive measures such as confiscation of street traders` possessions by municipal officials. The city is in possession of a motivating document.

Mical Johnson and Mohummed Khan of EVERSHEDS ATTORNEYS and Tebogo Sewapa of THE LAW REVIEW PROJECT will be in attendance. Other street trader technical support entities such as COASATU, ESSET, KHANYA and WITS UNIVERSITY ARCHITECTURE AND PLANNING DEPT is expected to be there.

SANTRA POSITION
“We see this meeting as an opportunity for The City of Johannesburg to begin a process that will enable this metropolitan area to take its rightful place as South Africa`s primary economic hub, particularly in addressing the plight of its urban poor in a pro- active developmental manner. Present negative, reactive and restrictive policies and laws that govern economic activity need to be reviewed as a matter of urgency.

Street trading should be expanded and managed in such a manner that it does not impact on the rights of stakeholders. There is no need, in a modern African metropolis, to continue attempting to shrink a growing organic entity such as street trading. It is the single most important point of entry into the economy for semi, unskilled and retrenched workers. Projected 3% annual economic growth for the immediate future will not provide sufficient formal employment for those in need. The bottom rung of the economic ladder must be secured as to enable the evolutionary process of “climbing the ladder” to begin.”

For more information, please contact:
Edmund Elias on 072 157 2481 or 072 570 2200