Outraged vendors at the traditional Cape Town Night Market in the CBD are demanding that the old trading hours are reinstated for the event this year. Traders have warned that the change in trading dates and hours will significant impact on the business of hawkers, who rely on the festive season event to boost their income. The market will take place over five days from Friday 18 December to Tuesday 22 December 2015 at the Company Gardens.
“It’s disappointing because the market will only run for a week mostly during the day. This cuts down business,” says senior vendor and trader representative Ismaeel Moosa.
The market which was previously operating during the evening until midnight will now be running from 10am until 8pm.
“We are used to trading at night as that’s the time business happens. Now it’s like a day market and people are working that time. We can’t sell at a dead man’s door,” says Moosa.
Moosa claimed the City of Cape Town changed the trading hours of the night market to the Cape Town Summer Market without gaining the vendors consent. His comments come on the back of a number of complaints from other traders in different parts of the city, who feel the City is clamping down on the informal trade sector.
“All they told us was that the hours are earlier now no one asked us how we feel about it or whether we think it’s good for business,” says Moosa.
“This is cutting into our trading time which is bad for business.”
But the City says trading hours depends on the vendor’s personal preferences. Traders are allowed to trade until any time.
“People can trade as much as they see fit. They are welcome to trade until 8pm or 3am it doesn’t matter,” says Mayoral Committee member for Tourism, Gareth Bloor.
This year’s market is a collaboration between the City if Cape Town and the Cape Town Partnership. The hours were allocated according to the allocation of resources and infrastructure, including road closures and security.
“The question is how we allocate resources in terms of infrastructure but we will see if we can extend the hours if necessary,” says Bloor. VOC