Joburg refuses moratorium on confiscation of Street Traders` stock

In a meeting held last week Friday, Senior Johannesburg Metro Police Officer, who reluctantly gave his name as Isaac Peter Dlepho refused to have a moratorium on confiscation of street traders possessions as requested by SANTRA.

Xolani Nxumalo, head of the informal trading management unit then questioned the presence of a legal team and other persons called in by SANTRA to monitor proceedings and provide technical support . After a heated exchange, SANTRA representatives as well as the legal team consisting of Mical Johnson and Mohummed Khan of EVERSHEDS ATTONEYS and Tebogo Sewapa of THE LAW REVIEW PROJECT left the meeting,

SANTRA`S RESPONSE:

"SANTRA will not be dictated to by The City of Johannesburg as to who should or should not be part of its delegation in dealing with a critical matter of this nature, particularly in the light of widespread allegations of brutality, abuse, plundering and looting by JMPD members.

Panic has set in: Municipal officials, blatantly guilty of non delivery are desperately moving into "crisis management mode" and do not wish their conduct to be monitored by "outsiders".

We ask where is Johannesburg street trader management in place? There answer is that they have none.

Where is the millions of Rand worth of confiscated non- perishables taken from the poor in the guise of "law enforcement over the past 10 years? There was no response to that question.

It will not be possible for these officials to manipulate SANTRA into a controlled negotiation process with them choosing who should be represented on our side of the table.

We made the request for a moratorium. We choose who speaks on our behalf. At the present time we will continue our public debate, exposing all aspects of Johannesburg`s failed informal trading policy as well as non delivery by a team of costly municipal officials who are delivering very little, other than plundering and looting the possessions of the poor.

The Johannesburg informal trading fiasco could be as widespread as the billing crisis, the only difference is that poor people and not resourced ratepayers are affected. The "can of worms" is slowly opening. Traders are scared to talk for fear of reprisals. WE ARE NOT."

For more information, please call Edmund Elias on 072 157 2481/072 570 2200

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StreetNet International is an alliance of street vendors. It was launched in Durban, South Africa, in November 2002.

Membership-based organizations (unions, co-operatives or associations) directly organizing street vendors, market vendors and/or hawkers among their members, are entitled to affiliate to StreetNet International.

The aim of StreetNet is to promote the exchange of information and ideas on critical issues facing street vendors, market vendors and hawkers (i.e. mobile vendors) and on practical organizing and advocacy strategies