September 22, 2009
There has been a slight and temporary victory today in the Mitchells Plain Town Centre. City Official Randall Strikker has announced that the eviction of over half of the Town Centre traders has been moved until the end of October. This postponement is a slight victory due to the pressures put on the city by the traders, but it still remains that the city will continue with evictions.
CHATA (Concerned Hawkers and Traders Association) is continuing their struggle and fight against the evictions. CHATA met with Premier Helen Zille on September 17, 2009 and raised grievances regarding the Mitchells Plain traders. Premier Zille sent an email to Allistair Graham and Paul Williamson while CHATA Chairperson Ms. Mischka Cassiem discussed all the irregularities regarding the allocation process. Premier Zille has vowed to help and assist wherever she can. CHATA thanked her for her time, however, emotions are still running high in the Town Centre regarding the eviction. CHATA takes the words of Premier Zille seriously, but knows the fight is not over and cannot rely on city officials after there have been lies and unfulfilled promises in this entire process. Randall Strikker and Richard Hallstock verbally told the traders that they would be informed in writing, regarding the objections they had issued, if their objections were substantiated or not. This promise was never fulfilled and no traders received written communication from the city. Traders were then given until July 11, 2009 for the objections they raised and were then interviewed for a total of fifteen minutes. Now it is September 2009, 3 months later, and nothing has been filtered to the traders and instead the city officials are continuing with the allocation and subsequent eviction process.
CHATA has since received a call from the Department of Local Government regarding service delivery in the Town Centre. The department is set to conduct a survey tomorrow, September 23, 2009, at 10h00 with the traders in the Town Centre around service delivery.
The victory in the Town Centre is a gleam of strength that the force the traders have put on the city has been successful. But, the fight still continues and the traders still live each day not knowing when evictions are coming. The traders still have strength and will continue to pressure the city on this unfair and undemocratic process.
Contact: Mischka Cassiem 073 128 6657 & 074 525 7336