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BCC must decentralise licencing of vendors and informal traders

by Stephen Jakes
27 Apr 2020 at 11:51hrs | Views
Bulawayo Vendors and Traders Association has appealed to the Bulawayo City Council to decetralise licencing of vendors and informal traders as it starts removal of the traders from the city centre to residential locations.

BVTA director Micheal Ndiweni said as  Bulawayo Vendors Trust have been inundated with enquiries on the reported proposal or notice by BCC to relocate vendors from CBD to various trading sites in the Townships.

"Firstly we have contacted Bulawayo City Council to authenticate the purported decision. We were informed that BCC has not made decision to that effect, they will make a public announcement to address that issue," he said.

"Secondly, we are aware that the relocation will be a big inconvinience to vendors and informal traders who have established a tradition to trade in the CBD. They have established a relationship with their clients. So had established a traditional clientele."

"Thirdly, we aware that vendors and informal traders have been flocking the CBD due to lucrative clientele."

Ndiweni said howver, they have observed that the flocking into town was a result of a planning conondrum.

"If producers were directed to deliver their farm produces in designated townships warehouses, our membership would not be flocking the CBD to order  goods or sell because wholesalers will be accessible in Townships," he said.
"Thus, we believe that the relocation of vendors and traders will be help reduce cases of women getting mugged or harassment in the wee of the morning as they rush to the market to order goods for resale. Most of the people familiar with informal trading Zimbabwe know that scores of people including women leave their homes as early as 4am to order vegetables for resale. This move in our view has a potential to reduce cases of women abuse as majority players in the sector."

He said the move also, helps to reduce costs incurred by women when commuting to town to order vegetables for resale.

"We believe its bringing wholesalers closer to them thereby reducing significant transportation costs. Our hope is that the decision will also compel BCC to provide trading spaces with proper amenities like toilets, clean running water and security in trading spaces in line with our proposed  Architectural Market Prototypes/ Designs that we shared with various stakeholders," he said.

"We also call upon BCC to fullfill the pledge of decentralising licencing so that vendors and informal traders are not inconvinienced at all in paying for trading licences. The norm has been that vendors and informal traders have to commute to town to pay for licences and some of  them have not been paying due to prohibitive costs attached to pursuing a trading licence. BCC has promised to create accounts for vendors and informal traders so that they pay in the comfort of their homes."

Source - Byo24News