NMBM: Informal traders deserve better from government
Informal traders will be the centre of attention at the Nelson Mandela Bay region this week, as delegates thrash out ways in which the industry can be improved.
Traders, in most big cities, operate under difficult circumstances, despite the massive potential that they have to make a more meaningful contribution to the local economy. Government regulation is often responsible for that misery.
The Athol Trollip administration at the Mandela Bay Metro wants the informal sector to thrive under its watch. The jury is still out on just how significant an impact he can have going forward though. The two-day workshop being hosted by the municipality will provide many answers in that respect.
"The highly intricate balancing act of growing the informal economy of Nelson Mandela Bay by adequately accommodating the informal trading sector is high on the agenda of a two-day workshop at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium," said municipal spokesperson Kupido Baron on Tuesday.
Among the delegates that will be present at this workshop is Anele Qaba, Executive Director: Economic Development, Tourism and Agriculture of the Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality.
There is an acknowledgement from Qaba that an intervention is needed, not to harm the industry, but to help it grow.
"Essentially we are dealing with a city of two tales. On the one hand we have the Metro Police enforcing the bylaw and on the other hand, we have the succinct responsibility to develop informal traders economically and therefore cannot allow that they suffer.
"Those responsible for Land Planning must also take into account that we move traders from areas where they cannot sell their wares," added Qaba.
Also taking part in these discussions will be representatives from the South African Local Government Association (Salga), the Socio Economic Rights Institute (Seri) and numerous other delegates form part of the Informal Economy Policy and Strategy Development Workshop
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