Influx of informal traders worry Louis Botha residents

Residents living along Louis Botha Avenue complain that informal traders selling their produce there make the area unsightly.


Residents of Highlands Gardens complained about the growing number of informal traders on the corner of Athol Road and Louis Botha Avenue in Highlands North, saying it’s unsightly.

According to the residents, there is a growing market of ‘illegal’ traders on the pavement selling clothes, hair accessories, vegetables and chemicals.

They told the Tribune on 13 June that they have reported their plight to the Metro police and Councillor David Fisher but they have been ignored.

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“There is an ever expanding group of hawkers trading illegally and the Metro police have been called but nothing has been done. There is no enforcement of the bylaws such as confiscation of goods and fines,” said one of the residents.

“There is unsightly garbage that piles up because there are no garbage bins in the area,” said another.

Metro police chief, Wayne Minnaar said they are aware of the situation there and plans are underway to counteract and deal with the situation.

“I’ve spoken to the Metro police area commander there and he has confirmed that they are aware of the situation, but he said there is still a construction of a road and they are waiting for that to be completed and they will then go ahead with their plan,” said Minnaar.

Read: Vehicle pawn scheme declared illegal

Minnaar warned ‘illegal’ traders saying, “If found contradicting the bylaws, their goods will be confiscated.”

When contacted, Fisher promised to investigate the matter saying much considerations need to be taken into account. “We have to give a balanced response because we need to consider the plight of the poor as well as the rich in our community. Part of this is considering the economic impact of the country.”

He promised to give a detailed response to the queries sent to him by the paper.

According to annoyed residents, there are often piles of broken beer bottles, waste and other material on the service road making it an unpleasant environment to live in.

Read: Illegal shacks in Kew

Another frustration that residents also complained about are the cars that park along the edge of Louis Botha Avenue saying they cause traffic during peak hours and in the evenings. “The road is a single lane road with inadequate parking. What is also of concern is a group of vagrants in the area who sleep in the open commercial lots,” they told the Tribune.

The residents wished to remain anonymous, for fear of retribution.

Details: Wayne Minnaar 082 559 3882, David Fisher 082 822 6070.

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