Issued by: Socio-Economic Rights Institute of SA (SERI)
2 December 2013
Informal Traders Appeal to Con Court
The South African Informal Traders Forum (SAITF) and over 1 200 informal traders have applied to the Constitutional Court for leave to appeal the South Gauteng High Court order handed down on 27 November, which struck the traders’ case from the roll.
SAITF wants the matter dealt with urgently and for the Constitutional Court to place the traders – who have always traded lawfully – in a position to continue with their lawful business activities, pending the determination of the appeal (either to the Constitutional Court or to a Full Bench of the High Court). This trading would occur in line with the City of Johannesburg’s Informal Trading By-Laws at the locations the traders occupied immediately before their removal in terms of Operation Clean Sweep.
Informal traders operating in the CBD have been unable to earn their living and provide for their families for more than a month now, because of a combination of the unlawful conduct of the City and the refusal of the High Court to grant them interim relief on an urgent basis. SERI argues that, unless this application succeeds, they will be unable to earn their living and provide for their families for at least two and half more months. This is unacceptable, as the traders face utter destitution, including eviction from their homes, inability to buy food or pay for water, electricity or essential medication or pay their children’s school fees.
The interim relief sought by the traders is narrow and carefully tailored. It is aimed at preserving their basic dignity and the integrity of their livelihoods, while the City’s actions are reviewed.
The traders hope to be heard in the Constitutional Court on Thursday, 5 December 2013.
Download the court papers and read more on the case here: bit.ly/1apZ5yw