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The City of Cape Town’s Urban Management Directorate has sophisticated plans to transform the newly upgraded Grand Parade market into a modern, vibrant, commercially sustainable environment through its e-permit system with individual traders.

The Grand Parade market has been in existence for a number of years. The Wednesday and Saturday markets have become an institution and, over time, has been complemented by daily trading on the edge of the square.

The location of the Grand Parade market and the history of informal traders in the area creates the prime opportunity to transform the newly upgraded market into a modern, vibrant, and commercially sustainable environment .

Currently the City has month-to-month lease agreements with the traders’ associations, who in turn lease out the trading bays to each informal trader operating in that precinct.

The intention is to implement an e-permit system that will allow each individual trader to apply for a permit, until such time that the Markets Management Framework is adopted by the City later during this financial year.

The move to e-permits is supported by the fact that many leases with traders associations are expired and existing month-to-month leases are not aligned with current financial regulations that require the City to undertake stringent and transparent processes when transferring ownership of property or providing management by external bodies.

The e-permit system will enable affordability for individual traders with a consistent tariff applied across the City.

During 2018 and 2019, the City held various engagements with traders and traders’ associations to discuss the layout for upgraded trading spaces and other issues .

The proposed layout after upgrades will allow more trading opportunities and allow easy access for safety and emergency response vehicles and personnel.

The City will manage the precinct and traders for the next 12 to 18 months and reassess management and funding based on the approved Markets Management Framework. During this period the Grand Parade Market will have a single governance structure consisting of traders/stakeholders and City officials.

‘The tourist location of the Grand Parade market and the history of informal traders in the area creates a prime opportunity to transform the newly upgraded market into a modern, vibrant, commercially sustainable environment,’ said the City’s Mayoral Committee Member for Urban Management, Alderman Grant Twigg.

Way forward

All current traders, as submitted by the trader’s associations and verified by the City, will be accommodated to trade.

The remaining bays will be advertised and interested traders must apply online to the City and provide the required information as per the questionnaire.

Trading will take place six days a week from Monday to Saturday subject to events being held on the Grand Parade. The existing Wednesday and Saturday traders will be allowed to trade under the conditions of a permit with dedicated bay sizes. These bay sizes will range in size from 3×3 to a maximum of 6×6, based on the specified criteria.

The provision of uniform structures and storage nearby is being investigated, as per the artist’s impression provided above.

The public participation process commences in the next few days for the proposed trading plan for the Grand Parade where comment is sought from the public and interested stakeholders.

‘We remain positive that should all go according to plan, this proposal will become a reality by 2020. The City recognises the significance of informal traders and their contribution to the local economy,’ added Alderman Twigg.

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