Juliana Brown Afari, a former National Coordinator, Informal Hawkers and Vendors Association, has urged the Accra Metropolitan Assembly (AMA) to provide an alternative place for hawkers who are being driven off the streets of the Central Business District.
According to her, the traders pay daily tolls and the informal sector is an important part of the economy, hence the focus should be a proper integration for the hawkers and traders.
Ms Afari said the traders are very incensed about the way they are being treated even though they pay daily tolls and taxes to the Assembly.
“The street hawkers are saying that if you don’t need them, don’t collect daily tolls from them. ‘If you want us to move from there, then where are you taking us because we are also part of the economy?’” she questioned.
She continued: “We are not saying that we want to be on the streets so long as you relocate us and collect daily tolls from us. Relocate us to a proper place”.
She further explained that there are some markets that are not “conducive” coupled with the inability of the hawkers to have access to permanent stalls at those markets. Furthermore, she said, stalls at some markets are rented out at very expensive rates and not given to the original traders and hawkers the market was meant for.
Ms Afari criticised the AMA for not engaging the leaders of the hawkers and traders before the exercise, and explained that the decongestion exercise could have been better managed if proper stakeholder consultations were held.