By Zahraa Schroeder
The ten-year tug of war between the Green Point Market traders and the City of Cape Town will finally come to an end in November 2019. After years of upheaval for traders, the City has announced that 98 of the original traders have been verified to return to the market, which will be located in the P4 parking area at the Greenpoint Stadium. These traders had a chance to offer their input on the plans of the new market and identified some of the needs of the traders, security of stalls and an attractive trading area. The much-loved Sunday market was closed in 2009 to make room for the building of the Cape Town stadium for the 2010 Soccer World Cup.
Speaking to VOC Breakfast Beat, Mayoral Committee Member for Urban Management Alderman Grant Twigg said he and his team worked diligently to overcome the challenges of this process. Finding the perfect location proved difficult and so was the inclusion of essential services like safe parking, toilet facilities and accessibility into the trading area.
“Together we’ve looked at the plans and we’re also working with other departments to make sure that there will be feet to the market,” he said.
Twigg added that the previous space was home to over 300 traders, however, the P4 parking area will only have 200 places available at its reopening, pushing for its original capacity as the year continues. Traders will be issued permits that grant them their own trading spaces at a “feasible rate”.
“Just bringing the market back is not something new, but that should actually have the original market traders as part of the new market…”
For the time being, the trading plans are going through a public participation process before the grand re-opening of the Green Point Market. Alderman Twigg said that the original traders will return because this is simply a new location, not an entirely new market.
He said an Open Day will be arranged by Subcouncil 16 to give external stakeholders an opportunity to provide their comments and inputs to the proposed Green Point Trading Plan. The Trading Plan comments will be included in the Subcouncil report for October 2019 followed by a report to the Mayoral Committee in November this year. The report will serve before full Council scheduled for December 2019”
Rosheda Muller, the chairperson of the Grand Parade United Traders and President of the South African Informal Traders Alliance, lamented how the traders were “evicted” from the market in 2009. Muller added that since the completion of the stadium, the group was under the impression from previous Councillor Stuart Diamond that the traders would be returning in November 2017.
“We have never stopped reminding the City of the ROD (record of decision) – that was done, that when the stadium was completed, the traders will return to a hub of trading in the precinct.”
Muller added that the new location is not just a “welcoming back”, but the City addressing their rights.
In 2009, the area was affected by five different lease agreements, making trading a legal complication. This led to the creation of the Cape Town Stadium Market. When asked if the group was satisfied with how everything has developed and the move forward, Muller said that they were not satisfied at all, elaborating that the role of the organisation has been dismissed as the official representatives of the informal traders in the area.
“In 2017, we had paperwork to prove that we were walking on-site with Stuart Diamond…and we agreed that P4 is the right location…”
But not all is gloomy around the issue, as Miller spoke of how the traders are ramping up production in anticipation of the market’s reopening.
“People are so excited… People are buying stock and stock-piling their goods. They’re manufacturing their products…they are getting ready.”
Miller confirmed that in the meantime, the group is looking to iron out any problems in the trading plan and to especially root out the reason why they had to be evicted from the area for so long. VOC