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Monday Nov 14, 2016

Strand residents fume over beach-front traders

The R11.4 million upgrade of the Strand Pavilion precinct has some residents hot under the collar over the relocation of informal traders to the sidewalk on Beach Road.

They claim they were not informed the traders would be moved onto their doorstep and that inadequate provision had been made for them.

On weekends, the number of traders can reach 160, and residents say there's no space to walk on the pavement, to park cars, and that open areas are being used for ablution.

The city council says the relocation is only temporary until the traders can return to the new pavilion in June 2018.

The Strand Pavilion Precinct upgrade includes the resurfacing of the parking area, a new demarcated informal trading area, public lighting and a pedestrian public square.

The refurbishment of the Strand sea wall, which is also under way, forms part of the overall pavilion precinct upgrade.

"When the project is completed, we foresee that it will also be to the benefit of local businesses and informal traders in the area," said mayoral committee member for environmental and spatial planning, Johan van der Merwe.

But residents allege they were only informed about the pavilion precinct upgrade and not about the traders' relocation.

"Even if only temporary, where was the decision made in council that public open space be rezoned for trading purposes?" asked resident Malan Oosthuizen.

Manager of Welgelegen apartments, Deon Falck said the biggest concern for residents of the high-rise building was the lack of proper ablution facilities.

The beach toilets were dilapidated and also unsuitable.

Owner of an auditing and accounting firm, Johan Vos said parking in front of his business was being taken up by the traders' vehicles and trailers.

"We are paying rates and taxes, but the council treats you with no consultation," he said.

Ward councillor Carl Punt said the Strand Ratepayers' Association, the Strand Sectional Title Association, Strand Business, the Strand CID as well as the informal traders were all informed of the move.

Cape Argus

 
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