Starting 4 January next year, vendors along Waterloo Street will be required to pay S$48.15 monthly fee to operate at designated spots as part of the government’s “street enhancement exercise”, said the Singapore Land Authority (SLA) on Tuesday (8 December).
Currently, vendors are not required to pay for their space, except for flower vendors who have to pay S$120 annually for a street hawking licence from the Singapore Food Agency.
SLA said in a statement today that there are currently about 41 vendors in total, comprising 19 fortune tellers, 19 flower vendors, two reflexologists and a cobbler.
They will have to ballot for a lot on 14 December and move into their allocated spot by 4 January next year. SLA explained that this is to ensure “fairness and transparency” in allocating the spots for them.
Flower vendors, on the other hand, will be allocated outside the Kwan Im Thong Hood Cho Temple as SLA noted that many devotees would buy flowers from them.
Vendors will have to pay S$48.15 per month, or S$1.60 daily, for a three-year temporary occupation licence that will grant them a 3 sqm lot, said the agency.
It added that no new lots will be issued and warned that the license must not be transferred to another vendor.
SLA noted that it will start collecting the licensing fee beginning from 1 June next year. However, vendors who have financial difficulties are encouraged to approach the agency for assistance.
A spokesperson from the agency told CNA that no formal consultations were conducted with the vendors as to whether they agree to the new plans.
The spokesperson also said the vendors were “not surprised” and gave “no adverse reactions” when they were told about the news this morning.
SLA also claimed that it has discussed with the local Citizens’ Consultative Committee adviser about the new plans, which were created in June.
The agency described the area as “filled with stall setups and discarded boxes that obstruct the pathways” which it said could potentially be a fire hazard, adding that residents in the area have also made complaints about the size of crowds there.
At least a 6m-wide space for fire engine access and 1m space between the stalls will be implemented to increase public health and safety along the pedestrian street, said the SLA.
It added that “ground preparation works” will be done in phases between 15 December to 12 January with no disruption to the vendors’ business.