The City of Cape Town’s draft policy for mobile business has been welcomed by some entrepreneurs, who believe it will create growth. The aim of the draft policy, which was recently published, is to create business opportunities and entrepreneurialism, and boost the economic wellbeing of mobile business operators. It is expected to be reviewed within two years of approval by the city council.
The policy also aims to make a clear distinction between mobile business operators and informal traders, who have permanently designated trading spots in the city. Mobile business operators will be allowed to operate in identified green belts, city parks, coastal areas, public places, and public parking bays which are designated mobile business trading areas. The operator will be issued with a mobile business permit, which allows them to trade upon receipt and approval of the application.
Businesses will not be allowed to operate directly in front of a residential property. The document also states that the city’s Enterprise and Investment Department will establish an industry forum through which to engage the mobile business sector and understand the operating areas of highest demand. “The city views the services and opportunities provided by mobile businesses as potential catalysing agents within the urban form,” the document reads.
“They stand to generate economic activity in previously dormant areas, contribute towards the city’s tourism and events offering, generate new and alternate activity for existing commercial establishments, ensure that public places are utilised by residents, and potentially inspire different means of social and cultural engagement. “Mobile business operators are a burgeoning sector and, in many respects, represent an innovation from brick-and-mortar business practice as well as an extension of traditional market-based trade.”
Marc Bonk, the co-founder of Jack Rabbit Mobile Kitchen, told Vutivi News that he hoped that the application process would be easy. Bonk has been operating the business since 2014 after working in the hospitality sector. “I think that it will have a positive effect on the sector and will give a lot of business owners in the industry a lot of opportunities to sell and grow their businesses,” he said. “Of course, the downside of this is that there will be those who will take advantage of those that do not have the knowledge on how to comply with the city’s health and safety standards.”