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They are hurting our businesses - New stalls irk shop owners

There is trouble in Maritzburg CBD as business owners who pay rates and other taxes say the city failed to consult before erecting stalls in front of their shops – a move they say is illegal and will negatively affect their stores.

Last week the Msunduzi Economic Development Agency (MEDA), which represents downtown and other business owners, convened an urgent meeting to address the erection of the new pavement stalls. Angry business owners accuse the city of failing to consult over the plan that has caused distress. Business owners, some of whom have traded in the CBD for generations, said the plan was poorly conceived and failed to consider crucial socio economic conditions.

Store owner, Hasen Charfaray, says he is livid that a structure was erected directly in front of his door.

“I am not happy with this. Already the area is congested and this will drive our customers and our business away from the area,” said Charfaray.

Another business owner, who has run a fabric store in the area for over 30 years, said the sudden construction of steel structures in front of existing stores has caused chaos for the formal business sector.

“In terms of the by-laws, these structures do not even fall within the rules which prohibit the erection of such stalls on pavements, residential areas and near religious sites. We were not consulted. How can we be consulted after the structures have been put up? There are no ablution facilities; the area already has a problem with dumping. The town is already in a state of deterioration and this will only add to it. Why are these structures only being erected downtown and not in other parts of the city,” questioned the business owner

Source: Maritzburg Sun

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CBD Charfaray Hasen Charfaray Maritzburg CBD Msunduzi Economic Development Agency

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