City’s plans to formalise trading

Old Paarl Road may soon be home to 10 new informal trading bays, if approved by council at the end of October, with neighbouring residents largely welcoming the initiative.

The draft informal trading plan was first submitted by Sub-council 3 in 2014, and will now go before council for approval after the mayoral committee recommended its approval on Tuesday September 20.

Blommendal Neighbourhood Watch (NHW) chairman Eugene Grobler welcomed the plan saying it would help to formalise the traders.

“This will ensure that the traders are more controlled and will help to keep the area clean,” he said.

Mayoral committee member for tourism, events and economic development, Eddie Andrews, said informal trading created jobs and economic opportunities.

“The City is therefore doing all it can to balance the needs of residents and the formal retail sector with the need for economic opportunities for our residents.

“Not only does this sector provide the unemployed with opportunities to generate an income, but it also affords residents an alternative to established and traditional retail options,” said Mr Andrews.

Bellville Community Policing Forum interim chairman Hennie Koekemoer said: “I would not oppose such plans as there is already a lot of informal trading taking place along Old Paarl Road, and formalising such trading will bring control.”

Oakdale Watch spokesman Tommy Milakovic said the watch supported projects that eased poverty and created jobs, but he questioned how the trading plan would be implemented.

“Our question is what the criteria will be to be granted a stall and by whom will this be decided? What will be allowed to be sold? “Will there be bins provided and what about toilet facilities?” he asked.

The plan seeks to bring traders in line with the City’s Informal Trading By-Law and Policy.

“It clearly states where informal trading can and cannot take place.

“It also gives informal traders security of tenure for the approved trading bay,” said Mr Andrews.

Ward 3 councillor Brendan van der Merwe said the matter had gone through about 18 months of public participation.

Proposed trading hours for the trading bays will be from 6am to 6pm from Mondays to Sundays, according to Sub-council documents.

However, Mr Milakovic said the Oakdale Watch was worried that monitoring the bays would add to the workload of law enforcement officers, who were already thin on the ground in the area.

Mr Koekemoer said it was possible traders could be moved if there was development along Old Paarl Road in the future.

The City earlier approved five informal trading plans for the northern suburbs, including Parow Industria, the greater Bellville CBD, Goodwood, and Kraaifontein CBD and surrounds (“Council approves five informal trading plans in northern suburbs,” Northern News Wednesday August 31).

In the Bellville CBD, 134 trading bays would be located across eight trading sites between Teddington Street and Blanckenberg Road.