The Passenger Rail Agency (Prasa) will be targeting traders who illegally allocate their trading space at stations to other traders. Prasa said it had come to its attention that traders who operated at its various stations, were letting traders who were not permitted to trade, in their allocated space. The agency condemned this practice.
“Prasa works with various informal trading associations to provide informal businesses and micro enterprises with trading opportunities at various Prasa stations,” the agency said in a statement. “Informal traders belong to an association that liaises with Prasa on behalf of its members. “Demarcation and allocation of trading space are done by Prasa (and) to trade at our facilities, one would need to be registered with an association.”
The parastatal said that it was clamping down on this practice through internal processes. The agency also noted that the Prasa board recently approved its informal trading policy. According to Prasa, the policy seeks to further regulate the allocation of demarcated spaces and improve the spatial areas where informal trade is allowed within the confines of the laws of the country.
“We are currently engaging all relevant stakeholders about the policy. Prasa supports economic development initiatives and will not discriminate against micro-entrepreneurs based on their race, gender, or nationality,” it said. “However, only people who meet the criteria can operate in our spaces, and the policy will ensure that any acts of illegality or criminality are prevented.
“We have no control over trading spaces on other public spaces outside of our premises.” The approved Informal Traders Policy is one of a few policies that were passed by the government this year in support of the development of informal traders. Earlier this year, the City of Joburg passed its own Informal Traders Policy after three years of stakeholder engagement.
The policy will give informal traders more rights and provide them with an opportunity to be represented in the city’s council. The policy also established the Informal Trading Stakeholder Committee, whose role includes mediating conflicts between informal traders and local authorities, between informal traders, and between informal traders and other users of public spaces. It will comprise duly appointed representatives from all relevant stakeholders including municipal officials, informal traders, and business and civil society organisations.