According to the City of Cape Town, R10-million has been set aside to replenish and grow the informal trading sector.
The news was announced by the Western Cape’s MEC for the Urban Management Directorate, Grant Twigg. This is in recognition of the important role the sector plays in the province’s economy.
How big is informal trading in Cape Town?
According to the City of Cape Town, informal trading is the fifth largest employment sector in the province.
Many unemployed people, most of which are foreign nationals with permits of residence, turn to the streets to sell goods at affordable prices as a way of creating income.
This creates a great competitive environment for retailers who, due to inflation, struggle to target low price points.
As important as the sector is to the economy, it is also very hard to regulate it, since new players come in as illegal traders on a daily basis.
However, this investment holds many promises that could encourage more illegal traders to register with the City and get permits.
City to invest millions in informal trading
The investment, a total of R10-million will, according to Twigg, go into the development and formalisation of the sector.
“The support is basically looking at the space where traders are trading, to upgrade it and make it more accessible to people and so that traders can have a better sense of security,” he revealed.
Twigg confirmed that, in the next few weeks, the City would host sessions with informal traders, to assist them with necessary training and skills development, and educate them about the City’s newly-updated by-laws and policies.
How to apply for an informal trading permit
Those who are unemployed and looking to become an informal trader, either selling or hawking food, will be required to register with the City.
The process has been simplified and digitised to encourage more informal traders to apply for permits, as this is the only way traders can enjoy the benefits of the City’s support.