Urban market laws ‘not’ helpful


CITY market authorities rarely enforce guidelines which protect the interest of consumers, says Consultative Implementation and Monitoring Council senior project officer Busa Jeremiah Wenogo.
He told The National that there were legislations and policies on the informal economy.
“In most locations, informal economic activities are conducted in a chaotic and disorganised fashion with very few controls in place,” Wenogo said.
“Market inspectors for urban or town councils rarely enforce rules and regulations intended to protect the interests of consumers and the public.”
He said the police sometimes stepped in to bring order through the use of heavy-handed tactics.
“Such moves are controversial and in some cases fatal, especially when police officers fall victim to the wrath of disgruntled vendors,” he said.
“Such incidents lead to police retaliation, where vendors may lose thousands of kina worth of items.”
Wenogo said managing and maintaining towns and cities was a daunting task.
“Administrators have limited resources and are faced with perpetual waves of people migrating into urban areas,” he said.
“Regulating the informal economy has been an overwhelming task for most urban authorities.
“As a result, most local government authorities have resorted to imposing bans as a quick fix solution to addressing problems arising from the informal economy.”