Confusion over Dunoon traders’ permit payments

Traders say they have not paid a cent for permits at the Dunoon taxi rank.

Traders at the Dunoon taxi rank are confused over whether or not they should be paying for permits.

They say they haven’t been paying for their kiosks since the rank reopened last October, following a R40 million revamp, because the City has not followed up with a plan to bill them.

Tabletalk visited the traders at the taxi rank, on the corner of Potsdam and Dumani roads, for their reaction to the City’s announcement that it would extend trading-permit relief until December.

The three kiosk traders Tabletalk spoke to all claimed they had not paid for any permits since last year. All three did not want to be named.

“We don’t pay any permits. We have gone to the City to ask about this. We dealt with a person called Shelly,” said a woman who runs a salon.

The City had shown them a plan, which included trading permits, last year, but nobody had followed up from the City’s side since then, she said.

The owners of two printing businesses next to hers echoed her statement, with one saying they had also contacted the City to find out what was going on.

Traders at the edge of the rank said they too had never paid for permits and that, as far as they knew, only those with the kiosks should be paying the City.

“I don’t pay, but it will depend how much they want me to pay to trade, if it comes to that,” said Clever Matshilele.

The City did not respond to questions by deadline.

On Tuesday May 17, mayoral committee member for economic growth, James Vos, said the mayoral committee had unanimously agreed to support further trading-permit relief for informal traders until December.

South African Informal Traders’ Alliance national director Paul Bester said traders should not be paying permits anyway until December 2022 because of a government waiver signed by President Cyril Ramaphosa to soften the economic blow from the pandemic.

Three months ago, the City suspended Kuils River trader Ettiene Gideon’s permit, despite him winning a court case the City brought against him for trading with an expired permit. He trades on a parking lot at the De Kuilen Shopping Centre.

In a 2019 statement, the City said the Dunoon transport hub presented economic opportunities “to be managed by” the City’s economic development team and informal traders.

Traders operating on the periphery of the taxi rank don’t pay for permits.