The South East Council in Ramotswa has warned street vendors operating ‘illegally’ at various shopping complexes along the main road that appropriate action will be taken against them.
The vendors, most of whom operate under makeshift structures, have been advised to seek necessary documents or certificates before they can do business in the area.
“We called a meeting on the 20th of June where we advised vendors trading without licenses to apply for them so that they could start trading legally,” says South East District Council Chairman, Goleba Kgari.
He said they also advised those who already had licenses to operate in locations as stipulated in licenses. Kgari rubbished complaints by some vendors who said they had been forced out of the areas.
“Some people have the habit of making things up,” he says, “We have never forcefully evicted anyone. People should know it is against the law to operate a business without a license.”
Kgari, however, says applying for a license does not necessarily guarantee one would get it.
“Licenses are issued after checking one’s place or structure and determining that it is appropriate for the type of business as well as assessing whether the type of business one intends to operate is appropriate for that particular location,” says the chairman.
He says vendors are not allowed to mount permanent structures as it goes against some of the conditions stipulated in the license. “We have tourists coming in through our border hence we cannot afford to have businesses operating under structures that may be a potential eye sore,” Kgari says. He added that they will summon the vendors to another meeting after which they will take appropriate steps to curb the problem should it persist. “We will use force if we have to,” he warns. He says contrary to ‘rumours’ their decision to evict unlicensed vendors has not been influenced by the retailers operating in the village like Choppies and Shoprite.