Jakarta plans to control mushrooming street vendors

The city administration intends to impose a moratorium on street vendors as part of its efforts to control their rapidly growing presence.

The number of street vendors, who mostly occupy streets and public spaces alike, in Jakarta, has grown astoundingly. The city recorded that the number of street vendors in Jakarta had reached 92,751 in 2011.

Governor Joko "Jokowi" Widodo has said that the city would refer to the 2011 data before starting it began managing the vendors.

"We will lock the figures and then we will manage the existing street vendors," he said at City Hall recently.

Jokowi acknowledged that the city was preparing its management strategy while conducting a thorough study.

The governor, however, expressed his optimism that the administration's efforts would not be fruitless.

According to the Cooperatives, Small and Medium Enterprises Agency, 78,318 street vendors in 2011 were illegal. The figure was lightly higher than in 2010, when out of 92,715 street vendors across the city, 78,302 of them were illegal.

Illegal street vendors mostly occupied streets, pedestrian walkways, traditional markets and office compounds.

Acting Cooperatives, Small and Medium Enterprises Agency head Andi Baso said he suggested the governor propose a draft bylaw on the moratorium that would provide the city with a legal umbrella to realize its goal.

With the bylaw, he continued, the city would use data on existing street vendors in all municipalities in the capital based on the vendors' businesses. The data would be distributed to respective municipal offices, which would be responsible for street vendors in their respective areas.

"The mayors will be responsible for managing them. Those who fail to curb the number of street vendors in their areas will receive sanctions while those who are successful will be rewarded," Andi said.

The agency head said that each municipality should balance the number of street vendors in their respective areas and its gross domestic product. He said that the city could calculate the ideal figures of street vendors in the city.

In a recent interview with The Jakarta Post, Jokowi reiterated his commitment to providing equal opportunities to people in the low-income bracket, including street vendors.

"They have been ignored for too long. It is time for them to enjoy a slice of a city's economic cake," he said.

Street vendors in numbers

2010

Central Jakarta 19,065 (15,732 illegal)

North Jakarta 13,547 (10,404 illegal)

West Jakarta 17,176 (15.136 illegal)

South Jakarta 24,620 (22,642 illegal)

East Jakarta 18,307 (14,388 illegal)

2011

Central Jakarta 19,065 (15,732 illegal)

North Jakarta 13,527 (10,384 illegal)

West Jakarta 17,212 (15,172 illegal)

South Jakarta 24,620 (22,622 illegal)

East Jakarta 18,327 (14,408 illegal)

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