Last year the Council approved a budget allocation for the upgrading of trading sites throughout the metro. According to the City's mayoral committee member for economic growth Alderman James Vos, funds were also channelled to the improvement and expansion of the e-permit system which allows the City to process digital applications from traders in a more streamlined fashion.
"The improvements include the development of additional trading bays, a refurbished building and beautified surroundings, creating more economic opportunities for the community. The City’s goal is to create dignified and accessible trading spaces where traders and customers feel comfortable and confident enough to engage. This year, we will push for more funding to be directed to this necessary trading infrastructure at sites accross the metro," said Alderman Vos.
Uluntu Plaza in Blackheath is one of several trading sites that have undergone refurbishments in recent months. Others include trading areas in Kuils River, Du Noon, Mitchells Plain, and Ravensmead.
Further upgrades are being planned in communities around the metro such as Mfuleni, Atlantis and Masiphumelele. According to the City, the upgrades are in line with informal trading plans that are based on the unique conditions of each area.
"These plans are drafted in consultation with local traders and communities and it helps us to identify traders’ area-specific needs while also creating a sustainable working environment," said Alderman Vos.
In addition to the infrastructure projects, the City’s Department of Enterprise and Investment provides ongoing skills development training to traders.
"While the infrastructure is being revamped, traders also receive workshops on various concerns such as basic accounting principles, marketing, costing and pricing, customer relations, and conflict management. This holistic approach to the development of Cape Town’s informal economy speaks to our commitment to make Cape Town the easiest place to do business and support local economic initiatives," said Alderman Vos.