Uncertainty over FIFA Exclusion Zone
The construction of the new 2010 FIFA World Cup stadium means that Cape Town’s well-known Green Point Informal Trading Market has been temporarily relocated to a nearby site in the bowling green parking lot on Western Boulevard. FIFA has issued a ban on traders within 1 kilometre of the stadium citing protection of sponsors as justification. Local government have only allocated 269 bays at the alternative site despite the fact that there were over 800 traders at the original site.
Traders resent the enforced relocation, and fear that this move will cause them to miss out on valuable commerce during the World Cup games which will in turn cause their business to suffer. Many traders have erected stalls every Sunday for years, and feel that they are being unjustly treated.
Informal trading provides a vital lifeline for thousands of families who would otherwise never have access to the economy because they lack or cannot access the necessary capital. It provides a real opportunity for people to escape the poverty trap. It also provides a platform for ordinary people to become entrepreneurs and to develop further.
Moerida is a single mother who supports her family with her income generated from the markets. She sold spices and incense on the Grand Parade Green Point market for close to 30 years before the relocation. She says that many well-established traders have been pushed aside by city council and FIFA and are losing income from this forced removal to a smaller & less accessible site:
“It is so much smaller, which changes the atmosphere and attracts less local customers and tourists. It doesn’t have good parking facilities either.”
Equal is from Malawi and was trading for a year and half on the original Grand Parade Green Point market. He was unable to get a stall at the new location since the Council told him that there were too many other traders who also sold African paintings. As a result, he was out of work for many months. He joined forces with his friend Mphatso and started a clothing range. The only way they can get onto the market now is to queue up each week to see if a permanent stall holder doesn’t show.
Johann’s second-hand books stall has been running for over 30 years. He was one of the first traders on the Green Point Grand Parade. He is now a member of the committee established to help improve the situation for traders. He says that local authorities have been terrible at communicating with the traders – originally suggesting they should move to Riebeeck Square, only to then rescind stating that the Square is a heritage site which bars them from trading at that site. Subsequently the traders were told they would be moved to the parking area in front of Green Point police station. Again this proposal was later. The latest site that they have been moved to has yet to be approved by FIFA. As soon as the confirmation comes through, Johann would like to throw himself into advertising the market to help bring it back to life.