South African Informal Traders Alliance officially launches in Kimberly

The formation and launch of the South African Informal Traders Alliance is indeed an historic event and one without precedent. This has taken place in Kimberely, were there will be a two day workshop on the 15 and 16th of May. It is the culmination of many months of behind the scenes planning and deliberations between the 9 provincial traders` representative bodies, StreetNet International, S.A Municipal Workers Union and COSATU.

Informal traders, street vendors and micro businesses which, by their very nature are critical components of the South African informal business economy, and in turn an integral part of the SA economy, have this day come together in a show of collective unity under the umbrella of S.A.I.T.A.

Having the self-realisation of their economic worth within the broader context of South African society, it was important to send a clear message to all tiers of government, business, and society, that the informal economy is as important a role player as its formal business cousins. The formation and launch of SAITA we believe, is a manifestation of that fact.

It is a given that the informal business economy has until now not enjoyed the fruits of acknowledgement and respect for its roles in entrepreneurial exposure, job-creation and poverty alleviation. [A perception we aim to change]. Likewise we remain painfully aware of the many injustices in terms of evictions and confiscations our individual members are routinely subjected to at the hands of law enforcement agencies. We now say emphatically... NO MORE!

In addition to its provincial structures, the informal business economy now has a national voice in SAITA. We intend to utilise this base and our collective muscle to leverage the best for our members, both in terms of negotiations with authorities as well as to accessing opportunities until now denied us.

SAITA gives us the opportunity to liaise on national and international stages and places our profile equally among those who have enjoyed the fruits of their statuses. But most importantly this launch sets out to change the perceptions which government, local authorities and corporations have over many decades mistakenly garnered about our sector. SAITA brings together more than just members. It is the establishment of a metaphorical bridge along which the informal economy shall cross from marginalisation and non-recognition to equality, acknowledgement and respect.

For more information, please contact
Sharon Pillay
StreetNet Media and Publicity Officer
Cell: 072 2577 317

Interim steering committee member,
Rosheda Muller - 081 270 4200
Media & Liaison

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INDIA. DP is irreparable, scrap it, say activists. Times of India (10 April 2015).

TANZANIA. College plans to identify trade opportunities for hawkers. Daily News (10 April 2015)  by Ludovick Kazoka.

INDIA. No street vendors, cycle rickshaws in Lajpat Nagar market: NGT. Zee News (8 April 2015) by PTI. New Delhi:

BOTSWANA. EDD is the way to go. Mmegi Online (8 April 2015).

USA. Five Courses: Hawkers' street food flair & more. Creative Loafing Tampa Bay (8 April 2015) by Meaghan Habuda.

INDIA. Hawkers may be allowed near Rishi Kapoor, Anil Ambani's Pali Hill residences. DNA India (8 April 2015) by Amrita Nayak Dutta.

ABU-DHABI. Abu Dhabi Municipality raid scares away street hawkers. Gulf News (7 April 2015).

SINGAPORE. Hawker centres to be spruced up with murals and art installations. Channel News Asia (5 April 2015) by Vimita Mohandas.

MALAYSIA. 'Development will be inclusive'. The Star Online (3 April 2015).

INDIA. 'Street vendors denied right to livelihood'. The Hindu (1 April 2015) by K.N. Umesh.

SOUTH AFRICA. South Africa: Xenophobic Violence in KZN - 'This Is a Black Easter for Foreigners'.

SINGAPORE. Singapore street food: stewed, sliced and steamed - video.

USA. Street vendors press city to legalize their trade.

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