Cape Town – A vendor at Vangate Mall, who was locked out of her kiosk last month for failing to pay the increased rent, has emerged victorious after a court found in her favour.
Mimoona Carelse says the ruling will benefit all the vendors whose rentals were increased at the beginning of June.
“They (Vangate Mall management) were given 10 days to sort our rental grievances out. This is not a victory for me alone, but other vendors who paid the new amount,” she says.
Mimooona turned to the court to protest the new rent, which increased by a massive R1700, saying she can’t afford it as she has not made any money during the Coronavirus lockdown.
The mom of six says her rent was upped from R4300 to R6 000.
When she refused to pay the increase, plus a R6000 deposit, R500 for lease papers and R500 for utilities, which came to R13 000, the new landlord at Vangate Mall, Ali Essa, changed her locks.
Essa started working on 1 June and implemented the new rules for the vendors.
On Monday, the Wynberg Magistrates’ Court granted Mimoona’s wish, and now she does not have to pay the new increased rent at Vangate Mall.
Mimoona from Colorado Park in Mitchells Plain has been a vendor at the mall for the past 15 years and sells clothing, bags and stationery.
She is relieved that her headache has been sorted out.
“This whole process was working on my nerves, it was disturbing my peace,” she says.
“I met with the mall management on Monday and I am hopeful that from now on we will be working with each other.”
Mimoona was the only vendor who did not pay the increased rent and who disputed it.
She says the other vendors paid up because they were scared of losing their kiosks.
According to Essa, Vangate Mall management had instructed him to refer all media queries to them.
But Vangate Mall Marketing Manager Anthea Oostendorf said the kiosks are leased to “ a single individual, who then subleases to various other individuals and/or business owners”.
“We therefore cannot comment on behalf of the tenant,” she said.