Gauteng MEC for Economic Development, Environment, Agriculture and Rural Development, Lebogang Maile, calls on Mayor Mashaba to focus his energies on implementing policies adopted by the City of Johannesburg on informal trading. This follows an incident where the Mayor conducted what appeared to be a citizen’s arrest when he encountered an informal trader transporting animal meat product using a trolley.
MEC Lebogang Maile once again extends an invitation to Mayor Mashaba to work in partnership with the Provincial Government to strengthen work on the informal economy. In this instance MEC Maile has said:
“Instinct is plausible, and in politics it is difficult to explain. However, an appreciation of what one’s role entails in leadership cannot be ignored. In this instance we must draw the attention of the mayor to such regulations as the Informal Trading Development Programme – promulgated in 2002; The Street Trading By-Laws – promulgated in 2004.
Research conducted by the City of Johannesburg has identified the critical link between spatial planning and development planning. The regulations as adopted by the city also confirm that the prospects of building a thriving informal economy are also dependent on accommodating informal trading when planning for development is conducted. The Provincial Government’s Township EconomyRevitalisation Strategy identifies infrastructure development, training and incubation including the provision of financial support in order to formalise and mainstream informal businesses.
The encounter between the informal meat trader and Mayor Mashaba presents us with the opportunity to extend the frontiers of opportunity for the sector. The Department of Environment, Agriculture and Rural Development has for the past few years been rolling out the mobile abattoir services as it is fully cognizant of the potential risks to human health, which could be a direct result of improper storage, transportation and handling of meat. The inception of the mobile abattoir project is thus aimed at the promotion of compliance with the provisions of the Meat Safety Act by traders who would otherwise slaughter unhygienically or source meat which was not hygienically slaughtered. The project further allows for opportunities for small scale and emerging farmers as well as informal traders to participate in the meat value chain.’’
The Gauteng Department of Economic Development has put in place a policy dispensation that is based on adequate research aimed at spurring the Gauteng City Region economy.