Street tradingMunicipality - Street Trading By-law - Enforcement


In Buffalo City Metropolitan Municipality and Others v East London Motor Vehicle Traders Association (Case No. CA348/2013, Eastern Cape Division, Grahamstown), the High Court dealt with an appeal involving the provisions of the Street Trading By-law and the Second-Hand Goods Act, 2009.

An association of traders sold second-hand cars from parking spaces on a portion of public road, adjacent to the Buffalo City Public FET College and a national monument. None of the traders had a valid trading permit, issued in terms of the By-law; none of them was registered under the Act. Accordingly, their conduct was in contravention of the applicable legislation.

When traffic and police officers issued J534 notices for the above contravention and instructed the traders to remove the cars, the traders brought an urgent application in the Magistrates Court for a spoliation order. They alleged that they had been in peaceful and undisturbed possession of a public place and required the restoration of such possession and an interdict against the municipality and the police. The Magistrates Court granted the application.


On appeal, the High Court held that the parking of cars on undisclosed dates and for undisclosed periods of time, in marked parking spaces established for public use, fell considerably short of possession. Furthermore, the traders could not be found to have been dispossessed. The traffic and police officials were empowered to impound the traders’ carsbecause they were acting unlawfully; by offering the traders an opportunity to cease their unlawful conduct was proper, sensible and proportional law enforcement that was commended by the High Court.

The appeal was upheld with costs.

our services

Commercial Law

The firm advises businesses on how to work effectively in a financial environment that is heavily regulated. We help businesses to deal with the many requirements of the law.

read more
Public Law

We advise public entities on how to manage the obligations arising from public law. The firm helps clients within the public sector to meet the demands of a complex legal framework.

read more

Conveyancing and general property advice, legal assistance in land matters, agricultural and rural development, evictions, expropriations, land disputes

read more
Labour Law

The firm advises on all aspects of labour law, including interpreting and applying legislation, to preparing and implementing employment contracts, to court proceedings and more.

read more

Estate planning and administration of estates, preparation of wills, structuring and registration of trusts, advice on tax implications, winding up of estates.

read more
Further Services

We offer an array of services, that include Company Secretarial services, Family Law services and Litigation services.

read more