Informal traders at the Grand Parade in the Cape Town CBD have shared their anguish once again at being tardily informed of trading halts. The reason for the three-day break in trading is due to a photo opportunity that is being granted by the City of Cape Town to the public prior to The Match in Africa. The Match in Africa will see two of the biggest tennis legends, Rodger Federer and Rafael Nadal, battle it out on the court on Friday at 19:30 at the Cape Town Stadium in aid to raise funds for charity.
Chairperson of the Cape Town Stadium Market, Rashieda Muller said the City only liaised with the traders through a single email.
“We understand that the City needs to utilize the Grand Parade for certain events but there are some protocols that need to be put in place. There should be consultation between the City, ourselves and the event organizers but that does not happen,” said an exacerbated Muller.
Muller continued saying alternative trading spots were not offered by the City but were promised by the relevant parties.
“It seems this informal sector which adds 28% to the GDP of the country, which is the biggest, greatest job creator, poverty alleviator is just not being acknowledged,” said a pained Muller.
The letter issued by the City of Cape Town to inform the traders that trading would come to a temporary stop was issued over two weeks ago. However, Muller insinuates that traders were still shocked at the discovery of the cordoned off area.
“The issue is that the City needs to recognize us as a job provider,” said a frustrated Muller.
“Are we just those vulnerable nuisance people,” stated Muller, adding that the traders have been trading for the past 40 years on the Grand Parade.
Muller explained that they have tried all avenues but to no avail – they are continuously let down at the eleventh hour.
Mayoral Committee Member for Urban Management, Alderman Grant Twigg was invited to comment on-air but declined.