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Minister directs BCC to avail more vending space

by Staff reporter
27 Jul 2021 at 07:12hrs | Views
GOVERNMENT has directed the Bulawayo City Council (BCC) to avail more designated vending spaces for informal traders and avoid engaging in "fruitless" cat-and-mouse games.

Speaking during a tour of Lobengula Street in Bulawayo last week, Women Affairs, Community, Small to Medium Enterprises and Co-operative Development Minister, Dr Sithembiso Nyoni, said the creation of more alternative vending spaces for the informal traders promotes sanity in the city as vendors get organised.

"BCC must create more vending space for informal traders and if that is done, law enforcement agents then have the power to chase them away when conducting their activities in undesignated places," she said.

"The alternative vending space if created will allow them to get organised, thereby bringing sanity in the city. We don't want street vendors in Bulawayo."

Last year, BCC announced that it had identified and designated areas for the setting-up of agro-food distribution hubs and vending sites in each suburb in its efforts to reduce decongestion in the Central Business District. The local authority has further identified areas designated for the setting up of market stalls in all the suburbs in the city to enable informal traders to sell their wares within their vicinity.

Accompanied by the Minister of State for Bulawayo Provincial Affairs and Devolution, Judith Ncube, Dr Nyoni was in Bulawayo to assess the informal sector operations to find out whether or not they are conducting their activities under the prescribed Covid-19 regulations.

Their first port of call was Sokusile Shopping Centre in Nkulumane high density suburb. The Government has granted registered SMEs and informal sectors, among others, essential service status allowing them to operate under strict Covid-19 protocols.

During the tour, Dr Nyoni said she was excited that the vendors were operating under the laid down Covid-19 guidelines. She implored vendors and small-scale traders to continue observing the prescribed Covid-19 protocols to ensure public safety as well as keeping their businesses operational. Recently President Mnangagwa announced the enforcement Level 4 lockdown in a bid to contain the rising Covid-19 infections.

Under the enhanced Level 4 lockdown, businesses operate from 8AM and close at 3.30PM. The shorter business hours were designed to allow workers and businesspeople to adhere to the dawn to dusk curfew, which is between 6.30PM and 6AM.

The President has also directed employers to decongest workplaces by allowing most workers to work from home. Businesses are also required to ensure their workers mask up, observe social distancing as well as sanitise to maintain high hygiene standards.

Source - chronicle

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