By Martha Louis – EM TV News, Lae
Chairman of the Morobe Provincial Government Business Arms, Chris Gai, is calling on the provincial government to crackdown on street vendors.
His call follows the attack on the Lae City Authority on Friday where street vendors armed with bush knives attacked several guards.
The guards were placed by the Lae City Authority at various locations around the city.
In 2011, there was an uprising in Lae where 7 youths were killed. Authorities drew links between street vendor behaviour and the harassment that triggered the violence.
After the 2011 clashes, street vending activities slowed down.
Two months ago, the Lae City security guards had an encounter with the street vendors where the security guards’ car windows were broken.
And just last Friday another incident occurred. The guards were chased by street vendors armed with bush knives at the Lae’s main market.
Mr Gaia is calling on responsible authorities to form a special committee to address the issues.
Meanwhile, the Lae Urban Local Level Government Laws on trading in public stated that it is an offence to sell goods that are considered to be below the minimum quality standards.
The Law also prohibits the sale of items outside or allocated market places within the city of Lae.
Part IV of the informal sector and Development Control Act of 2003 in public place state that any trader other than the holder of the license who conducts businesses or provides services without licence is guilty of an office.
It is also against the Local Level Government’s law to sell in front of public bus stops and foot paths causing inconvenience to commuters and pedestrians.
The penalty is a fine not above K500 or jail time of up to 12 months.