Informal traders in Galeshewe will before the end of the year have their own facility where they can safely operate their businesses from.
INFORMAL traders in Galeshewe will before the end of the year have their own facility where they can safely operate their businesses from.
This after Violence Prevention through Urban Upgrading (VPUU), in partnership with the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) and the Sol Plaatje Municipality, is set to launch and open the Informal Traders Hub.
The hub is planned to be constructed at Hulana Park.
The municipality’s acting executive director for the Small Enterprise Development Programme (SEDP), Ngoako Modiba, said the hub will boost the economic development of traders.
Modiba said it will also change the park’s bad reputation.
“This facility we are planning on constructing and completing before the end of this year will positively contribute to the economy of the area and the city as a whole,” said Modiba.
“It will give traders a safe space to do their business. It will also give the customers of the traders a safe place to relax. This park was previously used for criminal activity and drug abuse. We need to change that and turn it into a safe place that the entire community can use for relaxation.”
Modiba said possible job opportunities will be created during the construction phase of the project. “We are aiming to use the youth from this area to assist in the construction.
“Currently, we are meeting with the traders to establish what resources they would require at the hub. After consulting with the traders we would then consult with the community.”
Thomas Hellmann from GIZ said the aim of the hub is to positively contribute to the livelihood and development of communities.
“This programme is part of the work we do as an organisation where we tackle socio-economic issues in the community. This project forms part of the Safer Places-Resilient Institutions and Neighbourhoods Together (SPRINT) programme, which is aimed at demolishing high levels of poverty, violence and unemployment in communities. The hub aims at contributing to a more liveable, resilient, safe and economically thriving Galeshewe,” said Hellmann.
He explained that they decided to construct the hub at Hulana Park as it connects assets in the area.
“People come to the park to enjoy themselves. There is a church right next to the park, there is a hall, a school and a clinic located nearby the park. We will look at how we can connect those assets to the park and how they also can benefit from the hub.”
He said groundbreaking work is envisioned to commence in June.
“We will first have community engagements, where we will inform the community about the project and also get to listen to their input. We are hoping that we will start with the construction phase in June. By August and September, we will focus on the design of the traders’ hub. The design is mainly dependent on what is required by the traders. We are hoping to have the entire project finished before the end of this year.”
Hellmann said what is also extraordinary about the project is that the hub will be constructed from clay bricks.
“We will be using clay bricks to construct the building. We want to change the way clay bricks are viewed. Some people view clay bricks as a building material for the poor. However, clay bricks are an environmentally-friendly building material as it is cool in summer and warm in winter. It is perfect for the weather conditions experienced in the Northern Cape,” Hellmann said.
The project co-ordinator of VPUU, Ignatius France, said they aim to empower the youth and women through the project.
“We will be training the youth in how to make use of the technology for the clay bricks. The hub will especially benefit female traders as it will be a safe place for them to trade. We also wanted to construct a safe place for children to play. We know that when you empower a woman, you empower an entire household. This hub will address social ills such as gender-based violence against women, drug abuse of young children and also unemployment of especially women,” said France.
He said that although the budget for the project is limited, the community should see the hub as a blueprint for bigger plans.
“The budget for the hub is not more than R1 million. That is not much, however, there is nothing stopping the community from expanding the hub in the future. The training the youth will receive will equip them with the knowledge on how to possibly expand the hub. The community at the end of the day needs to take ownership of this hub.”