Brighter future for Lentegeur traders

Ward 76 councillor, Goawa Timm and the chairperson for Lentegeur Informal Traders, Xaviar Cyster at his stall in Lentegeur.

The Informal Trading Plan for Lentegeur was approved by Council, paving the way for improved public spaces and access to services such as electricity, water and sanitation, cleansing and law enforcement for 100 informal traders in the area.

Mayoral committee member for urban management, Grant Twigg, also believes the plan will facilitate better management of informal trading activities.

In line with the new regulations, traders will require a permit, charged at R89 a trading bay a month, with trading hours running from 6am until 8pm from Monday to Sunday.

Sub-council 23 manager Raphael Martin said a significant amount had been spent on the construction and upgrading of the precinct. He added that they had also identified four locations for CCTV cameras to be installed. The cost, however, would only confirmed once they had ascertained the exact technical requirements.

“It is vital that the City acknowledges the relevance and contribution of the informal trading sector to the local economy and the vibrancy it brings to the social environment of the area. Informal trading provides an income to those who are unemployed and affords locals the freedom to support either local or traditional formal sector retail options,” said Mr Twigg.

Ward 76 councillor, Goawa Timm added that the informal trading plan for the Lentegeur precinct had previously gone through an extensive, consultative and legal process in 2005.

In December that year, she said, council had recommended that the Lentegeur precinct be declared a prohibited informal trading area with the exception of 100 designated and demarcated informal trading sites. That informal trading plan, however, had never been implemented due to administration constraints.

Since then, she said, the Lentegeur precinct had “undergone a radical and much desired upgrade which introduces a strong component of urban management and quality open spaces.”

The City’s Transport and Urban Development Authority (TDA) will be responsible for the repairs and maintenance of the precinct, including repairs and maintenance of the kiosk and market areas, Ms Timm said.

Chairperson of the Lentegeur Informal Traders, Xavier Cyster said they were looking forward to trading in the new space, but anticipated that additional parking would be needed.

Highlighting the impact vandalism had on the area, he added: “As the City builds, they break down and it’s not right. SAPS and Law Enforcement should be visible in the area to prevent this.”

In response to trader Gadija Abrahams’ comments that people had complained about tripping on the new brick path, Ms Timm said “it’s still all in the process of being fixed.”