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City of Joburg suspends issuing permits to informal traders

The city's economic development department started issuing temporary permits for traders earlier on Tuesday.

FILE: Informal traders. Picture: EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - The City of Johannesburg said it had temporarily suspended the permit issuing process for informal traders.

The city's economic development department started issuing temporary permits for traders earlier on Tuesday.

But the decision to stop the process was taken after a large crowd descended on the offices in the CBD compromising overall safety and social distancing.

Informal traders have complained that they are struggling to make a living and need to feed their families.

WATCH: COVID-19: Is the virus airborne and do masks and hand sanitisers work?

Informal food trading, excluding cooked food, is being allowed again under lockdown regulations.

This includes fruit and vegetables, fresh meat and fish, sweets and cool drinks. Trading hours are between 8 am to 5 pm.

However, traders have to wear personal protective equipment, which includes a mask, sanitisers and gloves.

Regulations were amended by Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma last week, allowing for informal food trading with the proper permit.

This permit is applicable for the 21-day lockdown period only which government put in place to curb the spread of coronavirus. Under this period, only essential service workers are allowed to continue work while the rest of the country is expected to stay at home.

On Monday, the City of Joburg managed to grant more than 700 permits.

Additional reporting by Kaylynn Palm.