With the festive season looming, the City of Cape Town has announced a plan to curb the spread of the coronavirus in the Gatesville, Rylands area. However, the informal traders who are going to be affected by the proposal are unhappy with the decision that they say will affect them adversely.
Speaking on the VOC Breakfast show on Friday morning, Mayoral Committee Member for Urban Management, Grant Twigg explained what exactly the proposed plan would entail.
“In the next couple of weeks we will see the informal traders move from the pavement in Hazel and Mavis road into the parking bays adjacent to the formal businesses. This will be done to ensure there is ample space to ensure social distancing for customers,” detailed Twigg.
However, according to the City, the relocation is only going to happen on weekends, for six months starting at the first December.
Twigg explained that the Gatesville has the potential to be a coronavirus hot-spot should the plan be averted.
“Gatesville was never a hotspot but what we can say is that the area was a potential hot spot relating to the amount of people that are frequenting the area due to the trading that takes place in the hub,” explained Twigg.
Twigg explained the issues that traders may have with the proposal.
“Their clients know where to find them as they have been trading in the same spot for upwards of a decade and they are also concerned about parking and where customers will park if they are trading from their designated lots,” said Twigg.
Ward councillor in the area, Aslam Cassiem reiterated the plan was put in place to ensure the hub is Covid-19 compliant whilst affording customers their right to shop.
“This proposed outcome is due to several meetings that were hosted and a culmination of concerns that came from both formal and informal traders,” stated Cassiem.
However, VOC News did speak with informal traders in the vicinity who claim they are not as happy as the city makes out to be.
Informal trader for more than three decades, 68-year-old, Ashraf Jonathan said he can’t understand why the city would think it’s a good idea to relocate them.
“This doesn’t benefit us, nothing the city does is ever in our benefit. I can only assume the businesses don’t want us outside their shops anymore and the city is using covid as an excuse. What difference does six months make, the disease is going to be around for longer than that,” questioned Jonathan.