HCMC districts consider fixed areas for street vendors

Districts in HCMC are looking into setting up designated areas for food street vendors in an effort to ensure pandemic safety and order on the streets.
HCMC districts consider fixed areas for street vendors ảnh 1 An area in Go Vap district where self-organised markets and street vendors are forbidden. Districts in HCM City are considering fixed spaces for street vendors to work. (Photo: sggp.org.vn)

Pham Thi Hien, a street vendor in District 7, told Sai Gon Giai Phong newspaper that she and her husband had to stop selling food on the street due to the pandemic, and would like to resume the activity.

“I hope that district 7 and the city will soon come up with solutions to help us street vendors make a living.”

District 7 has asked the city to carry out a trial run of fixed, concentrated areas for street vendors to work to ensure food safety and social distancing, as well as order on the streets and street hygiene.

The trial run could play a big part in controlling self-organized street vendor activities, which take up street and pavement space.

Go Vap district is also cracking down on self-organized street vendors. Nguyen Ngoc Anh, deputy chairman of the district’s People’s Committee, said that local wards were monitoring and encouraging locals to officially register their selling activities.

The district was creating favorable conditions for street vendors. It was planning to renovate several streets in the district that have many street vendors, and allocate spaces for them to operate.

"Locals who do not register and take up vendor spaces on streets and pavements will be handled appropriately," he said.

District 6 is also working on providing fixed areas for street vendors, which will help the district monitor its pandemic situation.

Le Thi Thanh Thao, chairwoman of the district’s People’s Committee, said there would be two options: allocating designated street vendor spaces along certain streets, or setting up a night street food market for registered businesses, as well as an area where other street vendors can freely enter to sell their goods.

Nguyen Ngoc Tuong, deputy chief of the HCMC Traffic Safety Committee, told the newspaper that districts wanting to pilot spaces for street vendors must consider many factors such as traffic safety, urban order and hygiene.

Many locals in HCM City make a living selling food along the streets. Their livelihood has been greatly affected by COVID-19 and social distancing orders, and currently they are among business activities not allowed to reopen, together with bars and karaoke parlors. The city has been making an effort to support these local vendors financially.