South African Informal Traders Forum and Others v City of Johannesburg and Others

 Case No.  Lower Court Judgments  Hearing Date
 CCT 173/13  South Gauteng High Court, 27 November 2013 5 December 2013

By Duncan Wild on 4 December 2013

The first applicant, South African Informal Traders Forum (“SAITF“), is an association of informal traders, the second to one thousand two hundred and twelfth applicants (“the Traders“) until recently were informal traders doing business in the inner city of Johannesburg. During October 2013, all of the Traders were removed from their trading locations and their goods impounded, preventing them from trading. The first respondent, the City of Johannesburg (“the City“) states this was necessary to determine which of the Traders were operating unlawfully.

On 19 November 2013, SAITF and the Traders launched an application in the Gauteng Local Division of the High Court of South Africa in Johannesburg (“Johannesburg High Court“), on an urgent basis, seeking first that the Traders be allowed to trade in the City, pending the resolution of second part of the application, which is a review of the lawfulness City’s actions in removing the Traders. The Johannesburg High Court found that the application was not urgent and so struck it from the roll. This would allow SAITF and the Traders to continue with the review application in the ordinary course, which could take several months to resolve. As the Traders would not be permitted to Trade during this period, this would, they say, cause them great prejudice as they would have no means to earn a living for at least several months.

SAITF and the Traders therefore approached the Constitutional Court seeking leave to appeal against the decision of the Johannesburg High Court, and either allowing the Traders to trade pending the outcome of the appeal in the Constitutional Court, or allowing them to trade pending the determination of the review application by the Johannesburg High Court.

 

 

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