City of Windhoek reviews informal trading by-laws

The City of Windhoek is in the process of reviewing current informal trading regulations.

This was confirmed by the municipality’s spokesperson Harold Akwenye yesterday.

The review comes after the Namibia Informal Sector Organisation (Niso) held a demonstration over the behaviour of police officials towards street vendors, at the Shoprite taxi rank on Tuesday .

According to Akwenye, the review of the existing Informal Trading Regulations was gazetted in 2007.

“The purpose of the review or update of the by-laws is to evaluate how the City of Windhoek deals with issues associated with informal trading, including the legal tenure of informal traders, the provision of basic services, upgrading of infrastructure and law enforcement,” Akwenye said.

He highlighted that the City of Windhoek realised the important role that informal trading plays in terms of creating self-employment and generating income.

Niso has been involved from the start and are still involved in the process of the review, Akwenye said.

Niso secretary general Kandenge Veripi said Niso is working with the City of Windhoek and questioned why the City Police cannot wait until the review has been finalised.

Harold Akwenye

Akwenye said there are a number of available sites which vendors can use to sell their goods.

“The city has 17 informal markets that traders can apply to operate from, that have ablution and access to the water,” Akwenye added.

There are sites at Windhoek West, Olympia, Dorado Park, at Katutura’s Soweto Market, Wanaheda, Khomasdal and Otjomuise, among others.

Niso submitted the petition to Windhoek mayor Queen Kamati and National Assembly speaker Peter Katjavivi.

In a letter addressed to Katjavivi, Niso noted that the Covid-19 pandemic caused the closure of businesses with no stimulus packages to protect the informal sector.

The letter highlighted the impact that these incidents have had on families that are supported by the vendors.

Niso organising committee deputy chair Martha Amunyela and Veripi read the petition airing their grievances over the police brutality vendors have been subjected to.

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