Informal traders and taxis – a big challenge for Metro law enforcers

Metro Police officers in action during the operation in the proximity of the Phoenix Plaza.

While Metro Police have been out in full force trying to enforce municipal by-laws in the Phoenix, KwaMashu, Verulam and Tongaat areas through their operations, their biggest challenge has been informal traders and they claim that they are one of the main causes of the rubbish epidemic.

North region Metro Police’s Captain Mtshali said the challenge stems from the fact that they are no longer permitted to confiscate goods from illegal traders as per the new court ruling.

She said in most cases while conducting their operations, they discover that some traders do not have an identity documents. Another setback, added Cpt Mtshali, is that traders often furnish them with false information and as a result, they end up being unable to enforce them to pay the issued fines.

“While we take it into consideration that these traders are merely just trying to make a living, our greatest concern is the litter they are causing in our city,” she said. In an attempt to wipe out the issue of illegal traders, she said they are still trying to come up with a plan of action to deal with informal traders accordingly.

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During the operation which was conducted by over 10 Metro Police members in KwaMashu, Phoenix, Verulam and Tongaat on Thursday, Cpt Mtshali said 570 fines in total were issued, with many involving illegal traders and illegal renting of taxis.

“We are also concerned about taxi drivers who continuously cause a nuisance by parking in unauthorised spaces and people washing cars in public areas. We would like to issue a stern message to those who continue to break the by-laws that they will be issued with fines,” she added.

Cpt Mtshali said while their operations continue, officers will be also be tackling illegal dumping and littering as well as any behaviour and misconduct which causes or is likely to cause discomfort or inconvenience to the public.

Mbali Khubisa

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