City proposes new home for traders

The Old Bowling greens in Green Point had been identified as a possible home for traders.

The Old Bowling Green in Green Point could become the new home for traders.

This follows an announcement by the the City’s mayoral committee member for urban management, Grant Twigg, that he and mayoral committee member for community services and health, Dr Zahid Badroodien had identified the Old Bowling Green in Green Point as a possible home for the market.

He said the site was piloted on Sunday January 26, to help reduce disruptions to market days.

“After identifying unintended consequences and unhappiness from traders around operations, the urban management directorate committed to working hard to seeking solutions. I made a commitment to the traders to ensure open engagement and proactive actions to find a solution to the concerns raised, in good faith,” he said.

Mr Twigg said the new market site was a hive of activity and traders also expressed their happiness and appreciation that the City had come up with this alternative venue.

“I am optimistic about the future of this incredible market and what it holds for the informal economy,” he said.

Mr Twigg added that they were committed to establishing an innovative Informal Markets Framework and “we will now engage transversally with the relevant departments and officials to secure this space as the home of the Green Point Market,” he said.

This comes a few weeks after traders expressed anger and disappointment with the City which suspended trading because the market space was used for parking during a soccer match being played at the stadium (“Trading suspended,” Atlantic Sun, January 9).

The market trades from the P4 parking area just outside the Green Point Athletics Stadium on Sundays and public holidays from 8am until 5pm. On Sunday January 5, traders demonstrated outside the stadium when Cape Town City played a home ground match against Baroka FC at the stadium. Traders said the cancellation was a betrayal of trust and a slap in the face of the informal economy.

Weighing on the latest developments, chairperson for the market Rosheda Muller, said after three weeks of uncertainty about their future, they were allocated a new venue at the old bowling green in Green Point.

She said they were “cautiously optimistic” that they might, at last, have found a home where they could confidently put down their roots. 

“The first Sunday’s trading there was a mixture of anticipation, hope, surprise and a tinge of disappointment. Visitor numbers were understandably down on those of the first two trading days at P4, given the change of venue and the furore surrounding our lost trading days there,” she said.

She added that they believed that this venue would work. 

“Whilst we do have legitimate concerns, we are sure the council will attend to them, among which, is providing decent ablution facilities and rehabilitation of the trading surface,” she said.

She added that they felt they had what it takes to successfully operate the market. “Security and cleaning services could be provided by us independently of the council. We have engaged corporates for sponsorship and it looks encouraging. We know the market dynamic better than anyone else and hence see council playing a supportive role. Why then spend millions of rands of taxpayers’ money a year on maintaining a market and instead of recognising and acknowledging our ability to do it on our own. We are after all a business entity equipped with skills to do so,” she said.

“We foresee a good working relationship with the City through Grant Twigg and Zahid Badroodien. We view their presence as a commitment and we appreciate that” she said.