The New Amsterdam Mayor and Town Council is seeking to have roadside vendors removed and placed in the Municipal Market.
The municipality recently launched the campaign to have those who have been illegally vending removed, however, many of them have since returned.
Some of the vendors are of the opinion that the campaign is only against the small sellers.
Acting Mayor Wainwright McIntosh speaking at the press conference on Monday said the municipality is aware that persons must ply their trade.
However, he said this must be done in a responsible manner since the municipality has no intention of preventing persons from earning a living. He added that the Municipal Market has the facilities to accommodate such vending so that they do not take place along the shoulders of roads.
“By careful observation, one would note that it is becoming out of control – that roadside vending, while we have lots of space in the market facility to accommodate those persons vending along the road shoulders,” the acting Mayor told reporters.
According to him, there is a ministerial order to all Regional, Municipal and Neighbourhood Democratic Councils (RDCs).
According to the order, all municipalities, RDCs and NDCs must take the issue of the environment seriously and take steps to address infractions and serve notices of immediate removal of all illegal structures and encumbrances.
“So, the municipality carrying out its campaign exercise to derail persons from vending along the road shoulders is not out of any catered desire but the town of New Amsterdam must be run in an orderly manner; it is becoming out of control, it poses immense traffic hazards within the township of New Amsterdam. As a result of such practices, we can see the derogation of the road shoulders.”
He said the municipality wants to work with the vendors and ask if they can act in a more responsible manner.
The decision to have them removed, he said, is not unilateral but the Council enforcing the law.
According to McIntosh, some vendors are reluctant and are not cooperating with the municipality’s campaign.
However, some vendors told this publication that the campaign seems to be targeting small vendors while large businesses project their operations onto the road shoulders and seemingly are not being targeted on the campaign.
McIntosh, however, said that this claim is untrue, pointing out that the larger businesses have complied with the municipality’s orders. However, on Tuesday one business at Trinity Street had objects almost onto the road for display and sale.
One businessperson told this publication that the business has come out onto the road since persons can now stand on the road and make their purchases.
This publication observed a hold-up of traffic as persons were on the road and still able to touch items which were being displayed by that particular business.
Nevertheless, the acting Mayor told reporters that up to the time it last had its campaign, which was in the month of January 2021, erring business persons would have adhered to the request by the municipality.
“With the absence of consistency, we find that those persons may very well have returned to vending on the road shoulders,” McIntosh added.
As such, the acting Mayor said the constabulary department has been tasked with the responsibility of enforcing the ministerial order. The process is a continuous one. (G4)