The City of Cape Town has again risked the ire of flea market stall holders, this time through plans to alter the trading conditions and capacity of the popular Muizenberg flea market. A number of changes are afoot for the market, including a dramatic reduction in the number of traders that will be allowed to do business. The Muizenberg market currently caters to 420 stall holders but should the council’s plans go ahead, that number will drop to 250. These changes could take effect from the 1st December.
Yusuf Adams, chairman of the Muizenberg Traders Committee says changes to the trading capacity will severely impact the income of many stall holders.
The City has reportedly sought to use the additional capacity to provide new safety facilities for the market including increased security, an ambulance and a fire rescue unit; all of which Adams insist are already in place.
“To us it is very unfair that we, at this time of the year are being told that these things have to be implemented by the 1st December,” he explains.
Traffic concerns and disaster management risks are some of the other issues cited as reasons behind the flea market’s reduction.
Adams says his committee are due to hold meetings with the City in the near future to address their concerns, as well as how the new capacity reduction will impact the livelihood of traders.
“Every weekend you will find residents of Muizenberg doing their shopping (here), and internationally I can speak about people that visit Muizenberg every year from Holland, Germany etc. You speak to these people and they tell you that they have to stop at Muizenberg flea market to come and do their shopping,” he notes, highlighting the value the traders have brought to the area.
This comes off the heels of a disagreement between traders at the Somerset West night market, over a proposed change in dates for the annual Festival under the Lights. The event usually takes place from the 15th to the 23rd December, however policing concerns over the period mean the festival could be rescheduled for the 2nd to the 14th December. Traders are concerned that they are unlikely to see much business during the newly proposed dates.
This week, VOC News was also alerted to problems experienced by the Cape Town festive season nightmarket traders, who have been told their festive season trading period and hours could be reduced.
Muizenberg traders have formed a sub-committee that are due to engage with the City on finding a resolve that can ensure all traders are allowed to continue doing business at the market.
VOC approached the City for an interview on the matter but received no feedback. VOC (Mubeen Banderker)