African liveability Economic development

Cape Town’s e-permit system helps informal traders

An informal trader on St Georges Mall, photo by Lisa Burnell

An online permit system has made it easier for Cape Town’s informal traders to find and apply for trading space in the city.

The implementation of the e-permitting system comes after the City of Cape Town’s commitment to create more opportunities for small businesses in the city, and systematically remove the burden of unnecessary bureaucracy.

E-permit system designed as a one-stop shop

The e-permit system is designed to be a one-stop shop and currently holds a database of 1 500 informal traders who have successfully been registered to trade in Cape Town.

Following the City’s informal trading plan processes, a total of 3 977 dedicated and permitted informal trading site opportunities have been made available to informal traders by the City authorities.

All existing City-permitted informal traders are currently being transferred onto the database on an area-by-area basis and this process should be completed early in 2013. Once this is finalised, future traders wanting to apply for available trading space anywhere in Cape Town can visit a walk-in centre, where they will be able to create a profile on the database and apply for available trading space.

Keeping traders on track

This single application system ensures that the allocation of spaces to traders is fair and efficient. Available trading sites are easily identified. Traders who are already operating in a space cannot apply for another one somewhere else in the city and those traders who have transgressed by-laws or are in arrears with their rental payments can be easily identified.

“This e-permit system is having many efficiency benefits for the City and is one of the many ways we are trying to modify and simplify regulatory processes to better accommodate small businesses. It is important that Cape Town is a place where informal trading can thrive and this e-permitting system is definitely a step in the right direction,” says Alderman Belinda Walker, mayoral committee member for economic, environment and spatial planning.

Find out more or apply for a permit

Photo of an informal trader on St George’s Mall by Lisa Burnell. 

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