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by Barbara Meyer
06 Feb 2008
The Peoples Post
The Peoples Post

ENTREPRENEURS in Retreat, Lavender Hill, Grassy Park and Parkwood may soon have a new venue to ply their trade.

A proposal for a new flea market along Prince George Drive to boost trade for informal traders was given the go-ahead at the Rondevlei subcouncil meeting on Thursday, 24 January.

An open piece of land, situated between Prince George Drive, Walmer Road and the Klip Cemetery in Parkwood, has been earmarked for the potential market.

Members of the Rondevlei subcouncil supported the motion put forward by ward councillor Jan Burger, but requested various affected departments, such as Stormwater, Roads and Transport, Economic Development, Property Management Services and Land Planning, investigate the feasibility of the proposal.

The departments would have to submit their reports by 7 February - in time for the next subcouncil meeting on 21 February.

Burger says if the motion is successful, the first stalls could be erected by December, which means problem areas could be ironed out in time for the 2010 Soccer World Cup. Burger says he was optimistic that the flea market would reflect a "potpourri of culture".

Zainu Gabriels from the City of Cape Town's Community Development Directorate says she supports the initiative as the site is in a community with a high unemployment rate. "Parkwood has a need for such a project as there are entrepreneurs with no real market available."

She cautioned, however, that issues such as traffic flow, crime, safety and security need to be investigated.

The importance of informal trading for so-called "survivalist" traders - who use profits from their trade to make a living - crafters, market users and roving traders was outlined in a report on informal trading in a framework prepared by Ukukhula Business Solutions.

According to the report, the City of Cape Town also recognised the opportunity to encourage new entrepreneurs while at the same time looking for ways to create growth opportunities for existing traders.

The market would also ensure the land is used for the maximum social and economic services.

In this way it would spread public spending throughout the city with an emphasis on the poorer areas. The area is also seen as ideal for trading, because there is a high flow of pedestrian traffic.

The market would link traders to a range of opportunities for business support services and tourist-related trading.

Paul Williamson, service coordinator for business area management of Economic Development in the City of Cape Town, says if the city supports and gives the go-ahead for the flea market, the earmarked area would need to be leased from the city.

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