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Informal trading

The informal trading sector produces about 12% of Cape Town’s economy and employs 18% of its economically active residents. Through its local area economic development service, the City has assisted this sector through a city-wide informal trading policy, which spells out where trading should and should not take place, the types of trading that can be promoted, suitable operating hours and the obligations and responsibilities of stakeholders.

Informal trading markets have been built in Nyanga, Guguletu, Philippi, Ntlangano, iSithandathu, Hanover Park and Lentegeur, and a framework has been established to manage these markets.

Trading areas are demarcated on a continual basis to ensure that informal traders have security of tenure, and that public spaces are well managed.

How to apply for an informal trading permit

If you would like to trade at one of the City’s informal trading markets, you need to apply for an informal trading permit.

A permit will be granted depending on whether you meet a number of criteria. For example, only bona fide informal traders will be eligible (in other words, you may not have a “real” shop elsewhere); traders who operate for at least 45 weeks of the year will get preference over casual traders, and unemployed people will get first preference.

For more information, download the City’s Informal Trading Policy and Management Framework or the application for an informal trading permit (PDF, 29kb).

For the application to occupy a temporary site for the traders affected at the Green Point informal trading market site, complete the temporary site application form (PDF, 26k).

To send your informal trading application, please contact the Business Areas Management Office on 021 021 400 5942 or e-mail:

Informal trading summit

The City hosted an Informal Trading Summit on Wednesday, 20 March 2013. Click here for an overview of the event.



© City of Cape Town, 2015