Online permit system introduced for small and “informal” traders in Cape Town

The City of Cape Town is attempting to cut the red tape “burden” on small traders by expanding its online permit system.

The authority’s database is growing rapidly with 1,500 traders being added to the system over the past year and it expects to finish the area-by-area process in early 2013. The City has a total of 3,977 trading site opportunities.

Despite moving to the web-based system, future traders will have to apply for available trading space by visiting a walk-in centre and create a profile on the database.

“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,” said Alderman Belinda Walker, Mayoral Committee Member for Economic Environment and Spatial Planning.

The e-permit system was also created by the City as a means to reduce the red tape burden on small businesses and is described as a “one-stop-shop” for informal traders to identify and apply for trading space within the city.

“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,” added Walker.

Traders operating in a space are not permitted to apply for a second space or elsewhere in the city. The single application system implemented ensures that allocation of space to the traders is efficient and fair.

The e-permit system also easily identifies traders in arrears with rental payments and/or those who do not adhere to the by-laws.

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