For time immemorial now, the Gaborone City Council has been warning the public that as the road authority responsible for road reserves in terms of Section 102 of the Road Traffic Act CAP 69:01, they would take firm steps against those who use the sides of the roads to sell their cars. It has been years since the City Council has been threatening action, but the roadside business continues unabated.
Those charged with the offence are liable to a P500 fine plus towing expenses as well as a storage charges per day. Despite the warnings that were even run on national newspapers since 2013, a drive to various areas in Gaborone, among them the Kgale and Rainbow School roundabouts, will show that the trading is still very much alive. At the time of writing this on June 29, a Bedford truck, a BMW sedan and a mini bus were seen displayed by the Rainbow Circle with price tags on their windows. People gathered there around the mini bus, showing interest in buying the vehicle. On the same day, there were two mid-sized trucks, a 45-seater bus and some vans by the Kgale circle. Whatever happened to the threats of action remains a subject of speculation.
The City Council authorities, among them the council attorney Sono Seisa, confirmed that they have on several occasions used the assistance of the police to clean up the roadsides and charged the perpetrators. The public was then warned that all vehicles on the road reserve were parked there illegally and would be towed away without prior notice to the owner, and that such vehicles would only be released upon payment of the towing fee, storage fee and a fine. The council said among their concerns is the safety of motorists in case of emergencies. Just recently, a state vehicle that veered on an emergency in the area opposite the Sir Seretse Khama Barracks in Mogoditshane hit trailers that were placed for selling by the roadside. Those trailers still remain there to date.