Mauritius

November 28, 2011

Vendors - No Headache This Year

In December, if the hawkers are a thorn in the feet of the authorities, the fact remains that the problem is less acute this year.

The reason being that the authorities decided to take the bull by the horns. Especially that for some time, the policy of resettlement and integration of these merchants, in order to regulate, gradually became a reality. In Port Louis, Rose Hill, Curepipe ... A small tour of these cities shows that anarchy gives way to discipline.

This is in Port Louis that the vendors reign supreme. They are almost 2000 in a storefront. If the former Lord Mayor Reza Issack had wanted in 2006 to establish a zoning area for vendors to put an end to chaos (see interview below cons, ed), those who have succeeded have been overcharged the need to bring order. 

The authorities, before this realization, many have procrastinated on this issue. Between humanitarian considerations and electioneering, they were cautious with regard to street vendors. It is a vote bank for some non-negligible, admits MP Reza Issack which, however, says advocate of discipline. Analysis not erroneous in that the Opposition members often see vendors as allies, but once in power they forget them.

If it took years to find some light at the end of the tunnel is because, according to Hyder Raman, politicians have held hostage: "We were used for electioneering purposes when they had no political will to end the problem. "Moreover, as the president of the street vendors (AMA), the hawkers have always wanted to be regulated! 

Thus, the current Lord Mayor Mahmad Kodabaccus does not compromise. A meeting with police on Friday put the finishing touches on an ambitious plan to move the capital at the end of the year. A Tracking Team will keep an eye so that there is no slippage.Already, some streets have been enacted non-hawking zones (see cons, ed.) 

No new dealer will be allowed to operate in the streets. "Clearly, those who have not worked all year round or seasonal street vendors, will not be entitled to work in December, as was the case in previous years. Do you know that even some officials to take leave for vendors the holidays? "Mahmad Kodabaccus protests. 

As for the other working throughout the year, they can continue to operate only on certain streets: The Rope, Rémy Ollier, Leoville L'Homme, Farquhar and Célicourt Antelme. Control will be exercised by the Tracking Team. But the Lord Mayor said that even those who are standing in the sights of the town hall, if they do not comply with the regulations. 

If Mahmad Kodabaccus is as confident of success is that he was able to the most difficult since he was appointed Lord Mayor: he was able to remove street vendors from the street Desforges. A pride there is no shortage of stress, as the exercise was dangerous. 

This time he promises to fit the merchants of the Farquhar Street and surrounding streets in the place of immigration. Others will go into a building not used belonging to the NTA, while a Hawker's Mall will be located at the rear of LIC Building in Port Louis. These projects will be born next year, except the building of the NTA it plans to develop by December. 

This management more or less effective in the capital also comes from the fact that measures have been taken years prior to the relocation of street vendors. One of the most persevering in this process was the former Lord Mayor Gondeea Mahen: "It is through dialogue that we have succeeded. We would have failed in our duty if we had tolerated anarchy in the capital. It is not to bully anyone but I think today the results of our actions speak for themselves. "

Regularized 

He had stowed away some of the street vendors in Farquhar's Thumb Creek and was a fervent proponents of the Bridge of Paris, Plaine-Verte. Street vendors, who work in these two places are now regulated and earn a decent living, insists Mahen Gondeea. 

Even Hyder Raman recognizes that both projects were a success: "The balance sheets of Thumb Creek Bridge and Paris are very positive. We have similar projects because we only ask that the authorities help us by offering us guidance. "He is joined in this process, by MP Reza Uteem that purple, he finds, however, that vendors are not interested in working in both places. The latter accused the authorities not to opt for comprehensive planning.

"As Justice Domah rightly points out, we must find ways to integrate them into the mainstream. How we think can be included in the formal sector without an overall plan? This is nonsense. If we can give them a job or give them a place to work, we can not prevent them from operating, "says Reza Uteem, who said that his party was to project the Hawker's Palace," rejected by Labour. " 

This is a private, he said, who derives profits now. Now, for Reza Uteem, many solutions exist. One way to value these traders is to include them in cultural activities such as reviving China Town, among other things, or organize the 24 / 7 usually in cities. 

Reza Uteem goes on to say that the problem street vendors seems, for the authorities there to Port-Louis: "We see that they turn a blind eye to other regions. Yet, Flacq, Rose Hill, and soon no doubt Ebony, there will be the same problem. But no one sees any problem. This policy of two weights two measures is unfair. "

"No retreat, no surrender" 

But the mayor of Beau-Bassin/Rose-Hill, Norbert Froget may well contradict Reza Uteem. There were many food vendors, next to the station of Rose Hill, under his arm, and who would not leave, despite numerous requests to do so. The place had become dirty and unsightly, as the authorities had not acted on this issue. 

After many negotiations, the area was finally released this year. The merchants were relocated nearby. "It was very difficult to establish discipline. I faced a lot of pressure, but I resisted and I managed, "says Norbert Froget proudly. 

If he can claim victory for Margéot place, the mayor of sister city hopes to have more inspectors to carry out the supervision. He has to keep a hard line "No retreat, no surrender!" As there is no question of tolerating illegal, says Norbert Froget, he has come up with other measures, aided by the police. Meanwhile, tickets liked this week in Beau-Bassin/Rose-Hill, says he. 

Even serenity in Curepipe. The Mayor of Curepipe, Sunil Beedassy, also intends to adopt zero tolerance policy. After lengthy discussions with the merchants of the city, he was able to convince to develop the Square Bruce, derrière la gare Jan Pallach Sud. Fifty vendors will install it soon. But for seasonal merchants, he has put good order with the help of the police. 

Prohibited areas 

From this week, the mayor of Port-Louis has ordered several streets as prohibited areas for street vendors. These streets Desforges, Royal, Sir William Newton, La Chaussée and John Kennedy. "The streets of the capital will be released to ensure a smooth traffic and to give the look of a clean and aesthetic," says the Lord Mayor Mahmad Kodabaccus. We want to make Port Louis a jungle, he insists. One of his main goals during the holiday season. 

Domah The judge: "support himself is not illegal" 

MP Reza Uteem purple, champion of street vendors, based on a decision Justice Bhushan Domah, the Supreme Court in April to advance his argument of the need for a framework for vendors. Bhushan Domah did not make the trial of the hawkers, but chose to comment on this scourge of a more comprehensive manner.

It is as if the vendors do their law, or establish a discipline, and they find themselves outside the formal economy is that they did not pay enough attention to integrate the legal system: "Their illegality is not related to their activities, but to a status that is denied. Support himself is not illegal, it's what to do. The illegality is the inability to provide space for those who want to contribute to the economy. The company overheating when the laws are not appropriate. Outdated laws can not show the way forward. " 

The judge Domah Bhushan believes that considering the vendors as a problem is a problem in itself. First, he says, there is a significant lack of space in Port Louis. Besides, he says, we can find solutions to this problem with old laws. He said we need a comprehensive legal framework to tackle this phenomenon. This requires a proactive engagement of all parties concerned. 

Any new town is subject to new pressures. Local communities and their traditional laws are outdated address these new requirements, the judge emphasized Domah Bhushan. That's why he refused to rule in this case. 

23 shop owners of Port-Louis had challenged before the Supreme Court, the inaction of the mayor on street vendors. It intends to erect structures on the street Leoville L'Homme and Remy Ollier, to house the vendors. 

The intention of the town hall had wince merchants who found that this approach is detrimental . However, the mayor of Port-Louis was said during the trial, it has not yet made a decision to go ahead with this project. Once settled this dispute, the judge had to decide Bhushan Domah another query traders, including the fact that it was necessary to evacuate the vendors Rémy Ollier Street, Bourbon, The Rope, Louis Pasteur, Leoville L'Homme and others nearby. 

Hawker's Palace The much-maligned 

The government that have succeeded have tried to find solutions to this problem. In vain.A major project was the Hawker's Palace, initiated by the MSM-MMM government in the 2000s. Faced with resistance from street vendors and the lack of availability for all merchants (this space that can accommodate only 600 dealers), the project was abandoned, and instead, it is the Garden Tower, which arose. 

" Anyway, this project did not have the support of all vendors. 50% of them were against it because they were not convinced they would do good business in this place, "says Hyder Raman, president of the street vendors (AMA). 

Reza Issack: "The lack of political will must be decried "

> Why are the street vendors remained a perennial problem every year? Lack of political pressure or those who make a difference in elections? 

As far, far as I know, no sociologist, researcher or specialist has conducted a serious, methodical, even deep on hawkers in Mauritius. We always talk about the effects, but almost never causes. However, it is imperative that we go to the roots of this problem, which is warming after all, if one is serious about, at least, the curb.

 It is a lack of willingness state, so political, that is here described. Lane ale, lane vini, nou tann mem zistwar au mois de décembre !! Then in January, the problem is postponed indefinitely. Say, briefly, that persists for two reasons. First, there is the human aspect and, secondly, the electioneering. 

> How do you assess the situation? 

It gets worse every year, as the proliferation or the proliferation of street vendors is uncontrollable. The commercial streets will in the coming days, a folk style, but hell if the authorities do not take drastic measures. But recognize that Mauritians like this! Sometimes in our island, they complain of what we love.

> What should be the standard?

When I was Lord Mayor, I divided the city into zones and non-hawking hawking. The town hall was registered street vendors who had each received a badge that they must be conspicuously. This exercise also allowed us to have a database useful for several reasons. The idea had even attracted the police. Unfortunately, when I left, there was no follow-up ... 

This idea is still valid. It should create specific spaces for street vendors and why not, the pedestrian streets. Do not drive like animals, but they must, in turn, collaborate with the authorities, operate in the order and discipline, while caring for the environment and respecting the rights of others.

 

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