Hats off to Shamdas Kirpalani

Dear Editor,
Hats off to Shamdas Kirpalani for their High Court victory in their years-long battle to prohibit vending on their pavement.
Is this what every shop owner on Regent Street has to do in order to get the Mayor and City Council to comply with the law? The pavements were built to allow the free flow of pedestrian traffic. Are the Police not at all concerned that with pavement access blocked by vendors’ tables, chairs, umbrellas, boxes, and other accoutrements, pedestrians are forced to walk on the road which puts their lives at risk?
The vendor culture is not only a national eyesore, health hazard, and disgrace but comes with abusive behaviour that includes almost daily fights and cuss downs that are not conducive to a safe and attractive business environment.
It is no secret that street vending is a lucrative “business” for the City Constables and clerks who pocket payments from the vendors that allow them to sell on the pavement. One female clerk was even heard to exclaim: “De bigger de table is mo’ money fo me!”
There are some shop owners who, in order to keep the vendors off the pavement in front of their doors, have simply joined the lawlessness and extended their own business onto the pavement. We suppose they too are paying up to the Constables and clerks.
Is the expanding economy that comes with the oil boom not creating jobs that would attract our citizens to more gainful and meaningful employment? Or is the lawless vending culture here to stay because of a corrupt M&CC?
Despite its failure to perform its duties lawfully and responsibly in order to provide a safe, clean and attractive business environment, the M&CC still expects us all to pay up our rates and taxes on time.

The Management
Alim Shah Store