The City’s by-laws dictate that hawkers need to apply to the City for permits, and pay a fee. Image: Pixabay

Sandton hawkers must pay a fee, or move out

With rising unemployment, a Johannesburg ward councillor says that hawking has become a prominent issue facing Sandton and surrounding areas.


The City’s by-laws dictate that hawkers need to apply to the City for permits, and pay a fee. Image: Pixabay

Ward 103 councillor Lynda Shackleford has advised local hawkers, or street vendors, to get an informal-trading permit or face eviction.

With rising unemployment in South Africa, coupled with the influx of migrant workers seeking out better opportunities, hawking has become a problem facing Sandton and surrounds, writes the Sandton Chronicle.

Shackleford says she sympathises with and supports the entrepreneurial spirit, and people earning a living, but has advised hawkers to get permits from the City of Johannesburg.

Responding to a pop-up hair salon that’s operating outside the St John’s United Church at the corner of Benmore and Pam roads in Sandton, Shackleford says:

“We had one hairdresser three weeks ago, and now we’ve got two. If we don’t clear it, and move it, we’ll have four in a week’s time.

“Then we’ll have the scone-seller, and everybody coming with – and now we’ve got a whole street thing outside a church where people are going.

“I do believe that if we don’t stick by the rules, it’s a problem.”

Hawkers intimidate residents and clients

Shackleford says that residents in the suburb tend to become apprehensive when they approach an intersection where hawkers are trading. It is an infringement of the City’s by-laws, she adds.

“We’ve asked them to move, and, unfortunately, where one hawker comes – whether it be with good intention (or otherwise) – more hawkers will come.”

The City’s by-laws dictate that hawkers need to apply to the City for permits to hawk about Johannesburg legally.

“You can actually approach [the City], and there is a fee to do it,” says Shackleford.

The administrator of St John’s United Church, Jacqui Smith, has reported issues arising from a barber operating outside the church. These problems include instances of people urinating on the church property, and a man sleeping on the street and intimidating salon clients.

Street vendors can’t afford the ‘rent’

Mario and Mideo Malembe are brothers who initially had their barber across Benmore Road outside a Telkom office. Their plan is to buy a gazebo at the same location from which to work.

“People are used to us here, and our clients may struggle to find us if we relocate elsewhere,” says the elder brother, Mario.

“Telkom removed the tree we were using for shade. We won’t come right with paying rent for a salon.”

A Johannesburg Metropolitan Police Department spokesperson commented on the legality behind such operations, saying the business will be infringing on the informal trading by-laws.

“The City of Johannesburg encourages the freedom to engage in informal trading, but that has to be done in compliance with the provisions of the informal trading by-laws, the Act, and any other applicable law,” says Superintendent Xolani Fihla.

Click here for a summary of the informal trading by-laws.