At least 100 informal traders using open spaces around Ntshe House have been ordered to vacate the area. The traders were served with eviction letters on 24th March and given up until 13th April to have moved their stalls. The letter instructed the traders to temporarily relocate from Ntshe House to an open space next to the pump station and TEBO House behind FNB headquarters. Traders however are having none of it. Violet Simon, who has been trading at Ntshe since 2017, says she has no intention of moving as her customers know exactly where to find her. "The area we're being asked to relocate to is already over subscribed. People trading there are our friends, they tell us the situation there. You can't have 20 caravans selling food in such a small space," decried Simon. Her neighbour, Taboka Msinga, trading under a small makeshift tent where she sells clothes and vegetables, says relocating will be the end of her business. "My clients are here. No one is giving us a good enough reason why we should move. Gatwe re tatsa toropo leswe, or ke rona leswe," (Are we being accused of littering, or are we a sore sight). The Francistown City Council has a long protracted battle with the informal sector. The city has been trying to evict traders at the central market for many years without success. In a recent engagement with FCC, Minister of Local Government, Kgotla Autlwetse professed ignorance of plans by FCC to evict informal sector traders from the Central Market. However in his Full Council Session address on Monday, Mayor Godisang Radisigo said it is unfortunate that the redevelopment of the Central Market has been delayed due to the standoff between traders and the Council. He said Council has commenced the eviction process which entails applying for eviction order from the High Court, of which its status hearing roll call was scheduled for Tuesday 28th March. "I urge those who are supposed to move to adhere so that we can implement the project. The facility’s value continues to decline and it is turning into an environmental and health hazard," he said. Meanwhile, in his response to the Mayor's address, Specially Elected Councilor Modiri Lucas called for more consultations with the informal sector. "This could open doors for negotiations on matters that might have been not given enough time to be dealt with, especially issues of relocation and licensing," Lucas said and further cautioned: "We should be careful not to find ourselves fighting and disappointing the very same traders we are trying to assist".