Market gets new home

Rosheda Muller, of the South African Informal Traders Alliance, at the march in Cape Town last week. Informal traders demanded more inclusion in the local economy and safety.

The P4 parking area just outside the Green Point Athletics Stadium will become the new spot for the Green Point Market.

The market was relocated to make way for the construction of the Cape Town Stadium and the surrounding Green Point Urban Park before the 2010 Fifa Soccer World Cup.

A market facilitator has been appointed, as an interim measure to manage, on behalf of the City of Cape Town, the processes and engagements associated with the return of the market.

The City’s mayoral committee member for urban management, Grant Twigg, said the facilitator’s most important task was to do a call-back of all historical traders who were a part of the original market.

“Thus far, a total of 98 former trades were identified and have been verified. The next phase of the programme required the coordination and facilitation of a workshop to develop a vision, market management model and structure for the market in conjunction with the trader organisations.”

Mr Twigg said the inputs from various trader organisations assisted in the process of reopening the market. He said they have submitted their preferred lay-out plan, which the City has noted and will it act as a basis for the development of the Green Point Trading Plan.

A maximum of 200 traders will be catered for and all the parties involved agreed that the market should be, among others, visually attractive, safe and secure, and should contribute to an authentic Cape Town experience. It should also operate in a manner that respects the environmental, heritage and historic significance of the area.

Mr Twigg said the City has received the report from the facilitator and will now embark on a process to implement the market. This would entail the approval of the trading plan.

An open day will be arranged by Sub-council 16 to give external stakeholders an opportunity to have their say on the proposed Green Point Trading Plan.

The comments will be included in the sub-council report for October. This will be followed by a report to the mayoral committee in November. The report will serve before full Council scheduled for December.

Former trader Ngagne Mboup was happy with the news and said he would definitely be going back as the area was a tourist attraction.

Sharing his sentiments, Kodwana Banda, said he traded in Green Point from 1997 until they were evicted.

”This is good news because business is different (in the city centre). I’d make more money on one Sunday than I do in town during the week. I even stopped trading during the week and went straight to Green Point every Sunday,” he said.

However, one trader, who is now based in Greenmarket Square said she was not going back to Green Point. “They removed us and didn’t even accommodate us. What do they think we were eating when they removed us? I can’t trust them. I’ll stay here in the CBD,” she said.

During the 2009 evictions five organisations came together to speak in one voice under the umbrella body of Cape Town Stadium Market.

The newly-elected chairperson of the Cape Town Stadium Market and president of the South African Informal Traders Alliance, Rosheda Muller, said they were satisfied with the P4 parking area as it was not far from the Green Point Urban Park.

She said the site was identified in 2017 and was only approved this year. Ms Muller added that the alliance was happy with the consultations and the opportunity to share their visions.

However, she said, they are not happy with the City wanting to manage the market. “Sadly, the City doesn’t recognise us as a sector that is empowered and able to do this. We’ve been fighting this since the eviction in 2009 and we used our own contacts to be where we are. We did 90% of the work and the City talks about partnerships when we don’t even see the partnership.”

Ms Muller said they have had a disagreement for years about the permit system because the City wants to manage it. “We want a lease agreement that states that we’ll drive the market and the City can do oversight on our management,” she said.