All markets and clustered street trading to cease in an effort to mitigate the spread of COVID-19
24 March 2020
STATEMENT BY THE EXECUTIVE MAYOR OF CAPE TOWN, ALDERMAN DAN PLATO.
As an organ of state, the City is mandated to take preventative measures to protect residents in what has been declared by the President as a National State of Disaster.
In keeping with this instruction, and leading up to the 21-day lockdown for the country announced by the President, the City is monitoring all developments closely and taking all appropriate measures available for the safety of our citizens and visitors to our city.
Due to the ongoing situation of the COVID-19 pandemic, the City, in compliance with the lockdown President’s Directive, has decided to close all markets – public and privately managed – including street trading with effect from midnight on Thursday 26 March. This restriction also applies to all informal traders who operate in street trading and markets in free trading zones and regulated areas for example, along main roads.
This has been a very tough decision to make but it has been taken to protect and mitigate the spread of the deadly pandemic among the vulnerable residents in our city as markets and street trading are popular spaces that attract many people.
The City is aware of the economic difficulties that this decision will bring to our traders, but this was weighed against losing lives. The President announced last night that National Government is working out relief interventions on how to reduce the impact on small businesses and the informal sector. The City therefore appeals for calm and understanding during the implementation of this restriction.
The restriction on informal trade will be reviewed as the situation changes. The City is in the process of communicating this decision to the affected parties, including informal traders.
The City therefore pleads with all traders to co-operate and work together with us in fighting this pandemic.
Until the lockdown has been effected, informal traders are reminded to please take the necessary precautionary measures to improve hygiene conditions in an effort to reduce the spread of COVID-19.
This includes increasing the distance between bays to ensure adequate social distancing of a minimum of one meter between stalls. Furthermore, the number of traders will be reduced, where applicable, to ensure the acceptable minimum social distance complies with the regulations gazetted on 18 March 2020. The hygiene conditions for continued trading have been tightened to include sanitisers, gloves, masks and disposable waste bags.
We encourage visitors and traders alike to keep their distance from others and practice the good hygiene habits that include handwashing and coughing/sneezing etiquette.
Numerous resources have been made available to the public regarding COVID-19. These include:
- The NICD Hotline on 0800 029 999 operates seven days a week, 24 hours a day
- The Western Cape Provincial Government Hotline on 021 928 4102
- WhatsApp: 0600 123 456