City’s draft market policy

The City of Cape Town is in the process of finalising its draft market policy.

The draft market policy aims to provide a distinction between what constitutes a market and what constitutes an event, as well as to provide a current and consistent process for market management.

In terms of section 17 of the Local Government: Municipal Systems Act, Act 32 of 2000, the public and interested parties or groups are given the opportunity to submit comments, input or recommendations on the draft market policy to the municipality from 1 February 2016 to 1 March 2016.

The draft market policy can be found here.

If you have any comments that you would like the WRRA to submit, please email

Alternatively, you can directly submit comments, input or recommendations by:

Fax: 021 444 9846
Tel.: 021 444 9045
Written submission: PO Box 298 Cape Town 8000
Hand: Subcouncil offices

More information about the draft policy

According to the Informal Economy study conducted in 2015, the informal sector contributes approximately R4.3-billion to the economy of Cape Town annually. Markets can make a significant contribution to the City of Cape Town’s informal economy however the potential economic impact of markets are compromised by the fact that they operate in culturally homogeneous, lower income areas which limits the social and economic potential of the market experience. Consequently markets are often financially unviable, offer a narrow range of products, attract a limited customer base, lack a defined public purpose and are not realizing their potential to contribute to a sense of place.

Other reasons why markets are in this state is due to there not currently being a clear distinction between “markets” and “events”, there being a lack of consensus on the responsibilities of various directorates and departments in the City to manage and regulate such markets and/or events, and because there is a lack of a coherent or strategic management model for markets.

The purpose of this draft policy is:

  • To provide a consistent set of guidelines to City departments for the management of markets on all City-owned and managed properties.
  • To provide market operators with a clear framework of the City’s process flow to obtain approval for markets or designation as a market operator, and the requirements, conditions, and guidelines for the operation of markets on City-owned land within the City of Cape Town.

This policy is applicable to:

  • Formal and informal traders that trade at public markets on City-owned properties within the City of Cape Town municipal area.
  • All applications for markets within the City of Cape Town City area that require a lease or permit for use of land and buildings as prescribed in the Municipal Asset Transfer Regulations.

This policy is not applicable to:

  • Festivals and ‘one-off’ community based events and fundraisers which are held less than three times a year (this includes: annual markets, night markets and fetes).
  • Trading activity in a designated public place by a group of formal or informal traders for less than 12 months.

The draft policy directives depict the means of management to the markets, those of existing and new markets:

a)       Roles and responsibilities of market operators
b)       Roles and responsibilities of the City
c)       Process for the appointment of market operators
d)       Rules pertaining to markets
e)       General Principles


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