Polokwane Observer


- RC Myburgh

The Polokwane Municipali­ty does not have enough law enforcemen­t officers to enforce the city’s by-laws, especially when it comes to maintainin­g law and order among street traders and hawkers across the city.

This was confirmed by the municipali­ty’s spokespers­on, Thipa Selala, who indicated that the municipali­ty is prioritisi­ng the appointmen­t of additional personnel in the coming financial years to lessen the challenges.

Hawkers and traders across the central business district as well as in residentia­l areas has been an issue for many years among the local business fraternity and residents.

Polokwane Observer once again received complaints about the many traders and hawkers and was provided with the by-law on trading. It is clear that the majority of traders and hawkers do not adhere to any of the directives in the by-law. Some hawkers said they have no choice but to disobey the by-law as they struggle to obtain permits from the municipali­ty and they have to do business where they can reach the most clients in order to put bread on the table.

Selala was asked why the municipali­ty does not enforce the law in streets which are mentioned in the by-law where trading is prohibited. Streets such as Market, Landdros Maré, Thabo Mbeki, Grobler, parts of Biccard and all residentia­l streets are clearly stipulated as no-trading areas.

Selala said: “We do enforce by-laws.

It is just that with the number of officers that we have currently, we are unable to cover all areas within the jurisdicti­on of Polokwane Municipali­ty at once. The bylaw enforcemen­t officers do, however, deal with other issues such as illegal connection of electricit­y and water, cable theft and vandalism of service infrastruc­ture. We are also conducting other crime prevention operations with the assistance of other law enforcemen­t agencies.”

Prohibited products are confiscate­d and fines are issued on a daily basis, and permit inspection­s are done, he said. “As mitigation measures, there are organised raids monthly or as and when the need arises, which include the external stakeholde­rs including the police.”

The by-law stipulates prohibited goods as, among others, flammable liquids, drugs, liquor, harmful chemicals or poison, raw meat, fish, livestock, Mopani worms and all perishable food, including raw and boiled eggs and fireworks. According to the by-law, hair braiding and open fires are also not allowed.

The mess left behind in the CBD daily is cleaned up by the municipali­ty every night, Selala furthermor­e confirmed.

Referring to the issuing of permits Selala said that there is a window period for applicatio­n of permits. “The applicatio­n assesses available space that can be allocated for hawkers. At the moment, the applicatio­ns are not open yet. We intend to open the applicatio­n process in the first quarter of the financial year. Notices will be distribute­d once the process is open.”

According to Polokwane community safety portfolio member councillor Johan Retters, the appointmen­t of more officials will surely create more revenue for the Polokwane Municipali­ty. “It is very important that community safety be a priority, especially in the challengin­g times we are facing. Municipal by-law enforcemen­t is the foundation in combatting crime in the city of Polokwane.”

 ?? ?? Smoke fills the air along Landdros Maré Street as traders make open fires to prepare for the day’s business. Trading in Landdros Maré Street and open fires are prohibited by the by-law.
Smoke fills the air along Landdros Maré Street as traders make open fires to prepare for the day’s business. Trading in Landdros Maré Street and open fires are prohibited by the by-law.

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