The City of Johannesburg has commenced issuing permits to informal food traders following the amendment of Covid-19 lockdown regulations.
This came after Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs Minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma announced that informal food traders could again earn a living during the 21-day lockdown.
"Today the issuing of City of Joburg temporary permits for informal food (fruits and vegetables/perishables) traders commenced. Registration and collection of permits occurred at 66 Jorissen Street for DED [Department of Economic Development] registered informal traders and at the Joburg Market (JM) 4 Fortune Road for JM registered informal trader buyers," the City said in a statement on Monday.
Informal traders from various regions outside the City of Joburg queued outside the DED offices on Monday to obtain accreditation and permits to operate.
"JMPD's presence ensured safety, security and social distancing measures were adhered to," the City said.
A man associated with a Joburg NGO in Naledi, Soweto, said they did not have anyone to assist them with the process in their district.
"There was no one to assist us in the morning with the forms, around 09:00, 10:00. There are people who are supposed to help us here," Fani Maseko said.
"How are we to social distance if we must all head to Braamfontein because no one is assisting us here with the online process? We are very disappointed as the community of Soweto who are struggling to get permits in this district," Maseko added.
The City, however, said it is concerned with assisting informal food traders (fruit and vegetables/perishables). It says many are not aware that they can now operate as essential services.
"We are taking steps to create awareness around the amended regulations through various mediums. We have also noted people attempting to get accreditation or permits but they are not registered with the City.
"Only registered informal traders will receive permits from the City," the City further explained.
A total of 766 permits were issued to informal traders on Monday alone and the process is expected to continue until Wednesday.
"We encourage all registered food traders to comply and get accreditation in order to provide the much-needed essential services in the City of Joburg communities where they operate," the City said.