Women informal traders demand Tshwane take their economic contribution seriously
Share this article:
Pretoria - Women informal traders in the City of Tshwane are demanding the municipality take their contribution to the City's economy more seriously and treat them with the necessary respect they deserve.
The women organised under the Human in Action Informal Traders organisation and supported by civil rights organisation Not In My Name International convened at Church Square earlier today to make their way to the City's headquarters, Tshwane House, in order to once again demand what was due to them.
Lily Sambo, the chairperson of the organisation, said they were dismayed that despite assurances by the City to heed their cries within 14-days following their march to Tshwane House on August 26, nothing had come to fruition.
Sambo said they wanted the City to take informal traders, in particular female traders, more seriously given how their activities by and large contributed significantly to the City's economic activity.
Women informal traders in Tshwane supported by #NotINMyName are demanding the municipality take their contribution to the City's economy more seriously. @CityTshwane #Tshwane #Traders @NotInMyNameINT pic.twitter.com/96cbqVEgSO— Pretoria News (@pretorianews) November 26, 2021
"We wake up every day from as early as 3am filling up the markets but when it comes to assistance and financing they (Tshwane municipality) put us last and end up calling us hooligans when all we are trying to do is take care of our children."
"Where is this budget for informal traders that everyone speaks of? What are Randall Williams and his friends doing with that money because it does not benefit us in any way?"
Siyabulela Jentile, president of Not In My Name International, said as part of their 16-Days of Activism against gender-based violence they had opted to not only highlight the scourge ravaging women in the country but to also highlight the plight of women in the informal sector specifically.
Jentile said the reason for this was due to the fact that the women within the sector had been grossly neglected by the City of Tshwane, despite them having a court order indicating the City had to allocate them space to trade.
He added that there were also worrying allegations that the City had in fact allocated the spaces to undocumented traders and citizens instead.
As part of their ongoing campaign against the abuse of women and children in the country, Jentile said they wanted to give their support to the women and push for the City to do right by them.
"They marched around August pleading for the City to hear their cries but up until today no one has responded to their memorandum hence they pleaded for us to assist them because that is what we do."
Jentile said the march to Tshwane House was only the first phase of an ongoing campaign to ensure the sector's plight was genuinely taken to heart by the municipality.
Women informal traders in Tshwane supported by #NotINMyName are demanding the municipality take their contribution to the City's economy more seriously. @CityTshwane #Tshwane #Traders @NotInMyNameINT pic.twitter.com/2wu1au97Sp— Pretoria News (@pretorianews) November 26, 2021
The civil rights founder said what worried the organisation about efforts surrounding campaigns of 16-Days of Activism were that the conversations around the problem lasted only for a brief period.
"The government started many programmes around GBVF yesterday and they will end around mid-December, but we as the people who experience these human rights violations first hand in their various forms need to ensure that we sustain whatever we have started."
"It is important for us as a country and the general public to have a sense of intention and seriousness to finish what we have started especially around such issues."
Jentile said it was for this reason that the campaigns initiated by the organisation during this period would go beyond the 16-days of Activism.
He added they would continue to put pressure on the City to do right by the informal traders and consider taking legal action if their pleas continued to be ignored by the municipality.