Durban`s street wars – StreetNet International calls on Ethekwini Metro to negotiate in good faith with street vendors

25 June 2007

The Siyagunda Association, Phoenix Plaza Street Traders` Association and The Eye Traders` Association are concerned about draconian moves against street vendors intensifying in preparation for the 2010 FIFA World Cup, with disastrous consequences for the livelihoods of street vendors and their families.

The demands of the street vendors are to:

  • put in place a transparent system of regulation which is inclusive (i.e. does not criminalise the majority of the city`s 25 000 street vendors by refusing them trading permits);
  • enforce the Recommendations of a Review of Durban`s Informal Economy Policy undertaken in 2006 (which proposes that the system of regulation must cater for all street vendors, and avoid police action except as a last resort);
  • establish an independent Commission of Enquiry into all facets of corruption around the issue of street trade permits;
  • reform the Ethekwini Informal Economy Forum (EMIEF) to function as a proper negotiation forum where all stakeholders have equal rights to advance their positions – not a one-way conveyor belt for municipal officials to issue commands and instructions to street vendors.