The Athlone City Improvement District (ATHCID) welcomes the idea of new draft by-laws which will regulate and structure business for informal traders across the Cape Metropole.
The process, started by the City of Cape Town, will merge the six different informal trading by-laws of former municipal administrations into one to ensure the equality and fairness in the industry.
Sumaya Taliep, chairperson of the ATHCID Steering Committee, said the idea of consolidating the by-laws is a welcomed one, and can only benefit the community.
... the idea of consolidating the by-laws is a welcomed one, and can only benefit the community.
"The new proposed by-laws creates a win-win situation for both formal and informal traders.
"It will strike a balance between formal businesses, and the rights of all parties will be protected," says Taliep.
The process started when the draft Informal Trading by-law was submitted to the City's Portfolio Committees for Econo?mic, Social Development and Tourism, and Safety and Security.
After meeting for discussion, the committees were in agreement in requesting the Mayoral Committee to authorise the commencement of the public participation process. Councillor Simon Grindrod, mayoral committee member for Economic, Social Development and Tourism, said the modified by-law recognises the key role of informal trading in income generation, entrepreneurial development and alleviating poverty.
"It also acknowledges the need for a balanced relationship between informal and formal trading sectors," said Grindrod.
The key principals of the current Business Act have been retained in the draft by-laws, while some additional components have been included to address practical lessons that have been learnt since the legislation was passed.
It also acknowledges the need for a balanced relationship between informal and formal trading sectors
The new by-laws will cover many issues relating to informal trading including the adoption of trading plans, and overall economic development. The by-laws will also look at making more accessible to traders, a diverse range of permits.
Other issues addressed is the transfer of informal trading permits and trade during special events as well as how to enforce the by-law.
Taliep feels that the current unstructured trading situation in Gatesville and the Athlone CBD is chaotic. Meetings with the subcouncil to address these problems have already been held, she said.
"We view informal trading as a second economy and we often hear about this at various levels. The opportunity is that it opens up more opportunities of job creation, economic development and poverty alleviation as well as entrepreneurial growth where there needs to be constructive involvement and participation.
"The by-laws will bring consistency to the trade, bringing all spheres of informal and formal businesses and governments together," she said.
... it opens up more opportunities of job creation, economic development and poverty alleviation as well as entrepreneurial growth...
Jammelah Daniels, chairperson for Subcouncil 17, also welcomed the idea of merging the by-laws. Daniels said, "The industry is not regulated and needs to be formalised, as many traders are operating without licences and permits. With the new amendments being made, informal traders can now participate in the process, highlighting their needs."
It is said that the draft by-law will provide the city with a fair and transparent framework to manage informal economic activities without harming the formal sector. The draft by-law will be forwarded to all 23 subcouncils for consideration.
Once the public participation process has been concluded, the draft by-law will be submitted to full council by August.