15 December 2009
The Early Morning Market celebrated 99 years today by lighting 99 lamps to mark the number of years the market has been in existence and the struggle this year to keep the market open against the efforts by the city to demolish it to build a multi-million shopping mall and taxi rank in time for FIFA World Cup in 2010.
Roy Chetty of the EMM Support Group said: We asked for permission to hold an event in the market from the Business Support Unit. They refused us permission, even though events to mark 16 days of non-violence against women and children have been organised by local governments and provinces all over the country. We decided to go ahead. A group of the women market traders did a performance with Women in Action. They re-enacted their struggle to continue to earn a living in the market. Earlier this year the city used force to close the market. When people resisted, police opened fire with rubber bullets and several women were injured. The women related their experience of the struggle they have fought. Chetty said that they were shocked that the charges for the ambulance to take the injured to hospital had even been sent to them to pay.