Johannesburg – Informal traders in the Johannesburg CBD have turned to the Constitutional Court after their application to continue trading was deemed “not urgent” by the Johannesburg High Court.
The Constitutional Court will hear an urgent application on Thursday, requesting an interim order allowing informal traders to keep doing business in the CBD.
The vendors filed an urgent application on the 19th of November, requesting that they be permitted to trade in a manner consistent with sections 9 and 10 of the City’s Informal Trading By-Laws, at the locations they occupied immediately before their removal.
The traders appeared in the Johannesburg High Court on the 26th of November, but the High Court ruled the matter is not urgent and postponed it to next year.
This caused further outrage among traders who say they have no means to make a living unless they can continue to trade.
The traders took to the streets of Johannesburg in protest. The group attacked businesses in the CBD saying if they cannot earn a living, other businesses have no right to. Traders threw stones and beat shop keepers forcing them to close their shops.
One man was reportedly beaten with sticks and nearly had his shop looted for refusing to close.
Informal traders have been left jobless for several weeks after the City of Johannesburg declared unlicensed traders may no longer sell their wares in the city centre. The City launched Operation Clean Sweep to remove the traders, claiming this measure is part of a crime reduction strategy. According to reports in the media while Operation Clean Sweep is meant to remove only unlicensed traders, those with legitimate licenses have also been targeted.
Image Source: Wikimedia Commons
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