GATVOL: Town Centre traders move back to profitable turf. CREDIT: Patrick Louw

Licensed Mitchells Plain traders have moved back to their old turf because they are not making money in new City-appointed spots.

Yesterday, some fed-up traders took their stock back to Symphony Walk in Town Centre Mall, from where they were evicted seven years ago.

They were given new spaces in the mall, for which they are charged R89 per month.

But since they left Symphony Walk, they say illegal traders, or pirates, have moved in, poaching their customers with cheaper goods and turning their new business hub into a ghost town.

On Monday, about 100 traders marched to City of Cape Town law enforcement offices in Beacon Valley to demand the City remove illegal traders from Symphony Walk.

The City told the Daily Voice they would be looking into the matter.

But yesterday, legal traders decided to take matters into their own hands and moved back to Symphony Walk to reclaim their turf.

About 20 of the legal traders set up shop.

Salama Petersen, 60, who has been trading for over 30 years and sells party packets, says they won’t move until the City meet their demands: “We want the City to hear us because we will not be leaving until they do something.”

Pirate fruit and veg broker Kyle Barnes, 25, says the City must give new traders a chance.

“We are young and they are old and in the industry for years. Now they are doing this to us. If the City can give me a space and permit, I will take it.”