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Hawkers to take legal action

JOHANNESBURG - Informal traders plan to take legal action against the City of Joburg after its clean sweep campaign left thousands unemployed.

Traders said after being forcibly removed over a month ago as a result of the clean-up campaign aimed at restoring order and tidiness to the city, their stock had been confiscated and their stalls had been demolished.

Edmund Elias, of SA National Traders’ Retail Association said, “We are assessing our various legal options but it is evident that there is a critical situation on the ground and there needs to be legal intervention.

“Six thousand people are without an income and thousands of our dependants have been impacted. We are at our wits end, our only option is legal action.”

Despite scores of informal traders being verified, they were not allowed to return to their stalls and continue operating, leaving them desperate and without any source of income, he said.

However, Nthatisi Modingoane, City of Joburg spokesperson said the city had an obligation to create a safe, hygienic and ordered environment in Johannesburg.

He added that the verification process was agreed upon by the city and the informal traders’ leaders.

“The informal traders would be screened to establish if they were legally in the country, and if they had a valid trading licence and a smart card in order to qualify to be allocated a trading space,” he explained.

He said the traders would be allocated a trading space in order to ensure that they operated from their designated areas.

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