Press Conference held to discuss the Licensing Bill

The South African Traders Alliance and StreetNet International held a press conference regarding the controversial licensing bill. This was held on the 18 April 2013, at the COSATU house in Johannesburg.

The Bill is being opposed due to the following reasons:

  • No consultation with the informal trader business support
  • No consultation with informal traders Associations
  • The 30 days’ notice is insufficient
  • The submissions procedure restrict illiterate traders
  • The bill is very much open for corruption and abuse of power
  • Law enforcers have too much right and power, more than the licence holders
  • Inspectors are given more powers, also more than the license holder.
  • Application fee is not acceptable.

The bill is autocratic because it suppresses informal traders and it has too much administration cost and fees. Only the department have the say and representative Associations are marginalised by the bill.

The effect of the bill to the informal sector is that most people won’t afford the application fees and the administration fees. This will lead to corruption and further unemployment. The economy will also be affected one way or the other. While the government wants to alleviate poverty, the bill increases and invites it.

This sector is characterised by people who previously disadvantaged, people who are rejected by other sectors, unemployed people, people who are victims of corruption and discrimination – but all have one common thing in their minds which made them special to the extent that they understand that it is their responsibility to help government by not sitting and blame-shifting. But in return the same government plans to hit them where it hurts the most! Why?

This draft Licensing of Businesses Bill, that it is too autocratic as it does not care any much about the interest of people down at the bottom, other than for those who serve the interest of individuals who have the power.

For more detailed information on the Bill, please read the letter that was addressed to the Minister of Trade and Industries Rob Davies.

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StreetNet International

StreetNet International is an alliance of street vendors. It was launched in Durban, South Africa, in November 2002.

Membership-based organizations (unions, co-operatives or associations) directly organizing street vendors, market vendors and/or hawkers among their members, are entitled to affiliate to StreetNet International.

The aim of StreetNet is to promote the exchange of information and ideas on critical issues facing street vendors, market vendors and hawkers (i.e. mobile vendors) and on practical organizing and advocacy strategies