ZAKA – The continuous sprouting of illegal traders at Jerera Growth Point has irked the business community prompting them to petition the local authority in a bid to flush out all illegal traders whom they accuse of stealing the market.
In the petition dated July 14, 2019, the Zaka Business Association (ZBA) cries foul saying the Zaka Rural District Council (RDC) is sleeping on duty while illegal traders who do not pay any licences run down the growth point.
The petition also accuses the council officials of protecting the illegal traders who give them bribe money and be left to trade on undesignated areas.
“We have noted with serious concern the proliferation of illegal traders on council pavements, our shop verandas and all open spaces.
“The illegal traders are operating under the protection of the council who collect money from them and we have lost most of our business to these people yet we pay rates to the council.
“We demand that the council remove all the illegal traders who have taken over our shop pavements and other undesignated trading areas,” reads the petition.
The business community has threatened the council with a lawsuit and boycotting payment of rates if they do not act on the petition.
Zaka RDC Chief Executive Officer (CEO) David Majaura was not available for comment as his mobile phone went unanswered for several times.
However, when contacted for comment, Zaka RDC chairperson Cornelius Mapuranga said the business community was at fault for they are the ones who harbour the illegal traders in their verandas.
“Why do they keep them in their verandas? They have to chase them away and as the council we always fine them for operating illegally.
“The shop owners should not cry foul because they are the ones who house them in their verandas and are actually charging rentals from them,” said Mapuranga.