Mixed response to trading plan

The plan proposes 10 bays in Albow Road, in Brooklyn. Picture: supplied

An informal-trading plan proposed for Ward 55 – which spans Brooklyn, Tijgerhof, Milnerton, Rugby, Ysterplaat, Paarden Eiland, and Sanddrift – will help to curb urban decay there, says the City.

However, only six residents visited Milnerton Town Hall, during an open day last Wednesday, to hear about the plan for at least 57 trading bays across the ward. The draft plan is out for public comment until Friday October 6.

For Brooklyn, the plan proposes 10 bays in Albow Road; two each in Vasco, Church, Fenwick and Justin streets; and one on the corner of Sable and Koeberg roads.

In Paarden Eiland, there will be eight bays in Marine Drive, one in Milner Road, three in Mosselbaai Street, six on the corner of Paarden Eiland Road and Neptune Street and one container stall in Lynx Road.

In Rugby, there will be five bays in Sable Road.

In Milnerton, at Woodbridge Island, five bays are planned for the corner of Loxton Road and Woodbridge Drive, while at Centre Point, there will be eight bays opposite Shoprite along Koeberg Road.

Tijgerhof Residents’ Association chairman Garron Gsell said they backed the plan for the area but were worried that an illegal taxi rank at Shoprite would see an increase in traffic violations such as was already happening with taxis parking on pavements.

“While we have yet to see the final plans, we are aware that council have intentions to make significant changes to the service road in front of Shoprite, which includes making this a one-way and would enable the delivery trucks to offload in this area.

“This would impact on the informal trading at the Shoprite site, and our suggestion would be to propose a taxi rank at the old Centre Point parking lot, which is currently unused in Knysna Road, and then shift the informal trading sites there, which could then increase the number and enable a greater area for trading as opposed to the existing proposal, which is limited since it’s located on the pavement.”

The association would not approve the exhaust-fitment business accommodated in the current plan for Sable Road as that type of business needed formal premises, he said.

Brooklyn resident Fay Vogel was concerned that no bays had been allocated for Sheridan Street with its many braai-meat vendors.

“I would suggest that a bay should be allocated there. We have illegal braais on that corner.”

The “mielie braaiers” on Justin Street also posed a problem, she said.

“If a bay could be put up there, that would also give the City an advantage to remove them. How does the City intend policing this? How will the City know it’s in fact the permit holder that is using the bay and not renting it out to someone else? Who is going to clean the mess these traders make? Will there be a person allocated to oversee that the trading is done in accordance with the City by-laws?”

Milnerton Central Ratepayers’ Association chairman Bouwe van der Eems said they had not submitted any objections or suggestions over the plan.

Another Brooklyn resident, Cheryl Castle, was concerned that vendors and their customers could be harassed by illegal traders.

A trader outside the Shoprite shopping centre, who did not want to be named as she feared victimisation, said she was happy to hear about the plan as it was “long overdue”.

Mayoral committee member for economic growth James Vos said the plan would create safe, well-managed trading spots.

The final number of bays proposed for the ward would depend on the outcome of the public participation process, and the trading permit would allow the sale of selected legal and on-demand products, subject to City approval.

“These could include fruits and vegetables, non-alcoholic beverages, arts and crafts, clothing, accessories, and bric-a-brac,” he said.

Counterfeit goods, alcohol and illegal products would not be permitted.

Once formalised, bays would be advertised and traders would need to register for City e-services to view available ones.

Trading-permit fees for the area would range from R95.90 to R107 a month.

Unpermitted traders would be informed about the City’s informal trading by-law and how to apply for a permit, but law enforcement would intervene if they continued to trade without one, he said.

The public can report illegal trading to the relevant City Law Enforcement unit at 021 596 1999 or log C3 service requests.

A trading permit under an informal trading plan proposed for Ward 55 will allow the sale of selected legal and on-demand products, subject to City approval, says mayoral committee member for economic growth James Vos. Picture: supplied