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The City had already issued more than 1 200 temporary permits to informal traders before being forced to halt the application process, following a near-stampede that threatened the safety of municipal officials and permit seekers.

About 300 more traders still need to apply for temporary permits that enable them to transact business freely during the 21-day lockdown, which limits public movement to flatten the curve of the infectious Covid-19 pandemic.

​The MMC for Economic Development, Councillor Lloyd Phillips says the City only has 1 500 fruit and vegetable informal traders on its database. The municipality will contact all outstanding registered traders directly to inform them of the process to follow to apply for permits.

“Only informal traders on the City’s database qualify to apply for temporary permits to trade during the country’s 21-day lockdown. Those who want to start trading now must wait until after the lockdown,” the MMC explains.

Phillips’ department had been issuing temporary permits [see link: [Spaza shop trading permits issued without glitchesto registered informal food (fruits and vegetables/perishables) traders at 66 Jorissen Street in Braamfontein when an unruly crowd descended on the venue in complete violation of social distancing regulations.

The MMC cites oversubscription of the application process by unregistered traders and those who don’t fall within the municipal jurisdiction of Johannesburg as the reason the City suspend the process of issuing permits, which kick-started on Monday, 6 April and was scheduled to end on Wednesday, 8 April 2020.

Recent amendments of regulations governing the 21-day lockdown allow wholesale produce markets and informal traders selling perishables to trade as providers of essential services, on condition they obtain a permit from their local municipality.

Applications at Joburg Market are continuing for informal traders with Joburg Market smart cards until 4pm on Wednesday, 8 April 2020.

Traders applying for municipal permits need to meet the following requirements:

Only food traders (Fruits and vegetables) may apply
Only traders with a CoJ Certificate of Acceptability (COA) from the Environmental Health Department in their possession are eligible for permits
Traders must have a proof of trading (JPC statement/smart card)
A valid identity document and ID/passport photo is required to produce the permit

Written by Takalani Sioga​​