A Petition to the eThekwini Municipality Calling for a Review of Current Plans for Warwick Junction in Durban, South Africa. We call on the eThekwini Municipality to fundamentally reconsider plans to build a shopping mall in Durban's central commuter node - the Warwick Junction. The site for the mall is the Early Morning Market - an 84 year old building that houses nearly 800 fresh produce traders. Fresh produce has been traded on this site since 1880 making it a critical part of city heritage. On a busy day there are up to 8000 street and market vendors in broader precinct. The current proposals not only threaten the livelihoods of Early Morning Market traders, but will seriously compromise the livelihoods of all informal traders in the area. eThekwini Municipality, in its previous interactions with traders in the Junction, has displayed a unique combination of social solidarity and creativity. In 1997 the City Council established the Warwick Junction Urban Renewal Project - an area based management initiative tasked with tackling urban management and design challenges. This project has been identified by, among others UN Habitat, as an international best practice of street trader management and support. Falsely driven by the 2010 World Cup deadlines, the Municipality have not consulted traders but presented them with a fait accompli. In addition the City has violated a number of legislative and procedural requirements. No environmental impact assessment has been conducted for this site and they have not been granted a heritage permit to demolish this listed building. Street and market traders who stand to lose the most have not been incorporated in the share ownership. The Warwick Avenue area of the inner city is undoubtedly in need of investment and ongoing improvements in urban management. We call on the eThekwini Municipality, to build on the consultative practices that have characterized council - trader relations in the last 10 years. Alternative plans should recognize the contribution of public-space trading and markets to the City. Not only do these livelihoods support large households in poorer parts of the city but also informal trade frequently provide goods affordable prices to poorer commuters. Support the Early Morning Market traders! For more information about StreetNet International and their work with street vendors, visit their website http://www.streetnet.org.za/ For more information about WIEGO, the informal economy and WIEGO's work to improve the status of the working poor, visit: http://www.wiego.org/
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