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City pursues R3 million claim against police for damage to informal trading structures in Mitchells Plain

by City of Cape Town
on 18 Mar 2008
City of Cape Town
City of Cape Town

The City today said it would seek legal advice to obtain compensation from the SA Police Services for the damage caused during last week’s police raid on an informal trading area in the Mitchells Plain Town Centre.

City officials worked over the weekend to estimate the cost, R3 million, of replacing the 1 000 structures that were either damaged or confiscated by the police during their operation.

The City is also, with the utmost dispatch, expediting its programme to move the informal traders to a new demarcated site in the area, which would finally see a formal and regulated market. The planned opening date for the new site was April 1 but an earlier opening date will be attempted

Mayoral Committee Member for Economic, Social Development and Tourism, Cllr Simon Grindrod, said: "The City obviously supports the police in their anti-crime and anti-drug initiatives, but we cannot stand by and allow law-abiding traders to suffer. The priority now is to get trading back to normal as soon as possible. We are working very hard to rebuild the relationship with the traders in Mitchells Plain. My Department is committed to getting traders back to work as soon as possible and we will, in the meantime and if necessary, procure trading structures through our emergency relief fund. We are aware that law-abiding traders are suffering massive losses because of their inability to trade at this stage."

The City fully accepts that the traders were not in the best location in terms of public health and safety and that is precisely why it has secured their cooperation to move at the end of the month.

Grindrod said the City has developed a 30-day plan for the traders of Mitchells Plain that will involve logistic support for the move, business and legal support, and the recovery or replacement of their of trading structures.

He said informal trading in the City supported thousands of families who would otherwise never have access to economic opportunities.

END

MEDIA RELEASE
NO. 92/2008
17 MARCH 2008


ISSUED BY:
COMMUNICATION DEPARTMENT
CITY OF CAPE TOWN
TEL: 021 400 3719

MEDIA QUERIES:
CLLR SIMON GRINDROD
CELL: 084 200 6060



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