News / South Africa

Ilse de Lange
2 minute read
11 Feb 2017
5:46 am

Mamelodi informal traders get interdict against developers

Ilse de Lange

This after the traders at the Denneboom train station claimed developers of a new mall were trying every possible trick to get rid of them.

Court-hammer.

A group of informal traders from the Mamelodi Denneboom train station have obtained an urgent court order to protect their rights.

The group, some of whom have been trading at the metrorail station for 60 years, turned to the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria with the help of Lawyers for Human Rights, claiming the developers of a new R850 million mall at the station were trying every possible trick to get rid of them.

The first step was allegedly taken against the traders when the paving and the fending, meant to be part of their security, was removed. Then, Tshwane municipality cut off their water and electricity supply.

In terms of a settlement reached on Friday, the municipality and the mall’s developers were interdicted from demolishing any existing structures currently used by the traders, or interfering with their trade by obstructing delivery of stock, public road access or disconnecting their water and electricity supply.

This was pending the relocation of the traders to a temporary trading facility.

The informal traders were, in turn, interdicted from harassing, intimidating or assaulting any employees, agents or contractors of the developers and municipality and from causing damage to property.

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It was also agreed that the developers and the municipality would provide the traders with containers, trading spaces and proper ablution facilities at the temporary trading area during the mall’s construction phase.

The traders agreed to relocate within 48 hours after they are allocated containers and trading space at the temporary facility. It was also agreed that commuters from Denneboom train station would then be diverted to public transport facilities via the temporary trading area.

Representatives of the traders will be formally included in the Denneboom facilities management board and the traders will have a say in the allocation criteria at the new mall.

Human Rights lawyer Louise du Plessis said the case was especially important to them because the traders at Denneboom had been there for years. “Informal trading plays a critical role in our economy and it should not be undermined as it would increase the inequality gap even further,” she said.

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