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BCC moves to stem dirt, chaos and decay in CBD

by Staff reporter
29 Jan 2024 at 05:57hrs | Views
BULAWAYO City Council (BCC) has given informal traders, kombi, bus and pushcart operators, and those involved in illegal car wash business in the city centre an ultimatum to cease their illegal activities by Friday next week.

The move comes at a time when the local authority is battling lawlessness characterised by dirt, chaos and decay in the city centre.

There is rampant illegal picking of passengers at undesignated points by long-distance bus crews, particularly, along Bulawayo-Harare Road, Leopold Takawira Extension opposite Centenary Park and along Bulawayo-Plumtree Road at John Love Motors.

From loading in undesignated places along certain streets in town, the operators have now literally invaded the city centre nightlife as they continue to spread to illegal pick-up and dropping-off points, mainly adjacent to fast-food outlets.

These places are increasingly being associated with more illegal activity ranging from touting, alcohol, forex trading and drug dealing, as well as vending throughout the night

Roads such as 6th Avenue Extension and Herbert Chitepo Streets from 5th Avenue to 11th Avenue have become un-trafficable and no-go areas for ordinary motorists as kombi crews have turned them into mini ranks while pushcart operators have become a law unto themselves as they disregard traffic rules.

The city has over 5 000 illegal informal traders dotted around the central business district.

Illegal vendors have turned pavements into trading bays during the day and at night.

At the corner of Leopold Takawira Avenue and Fort Street in the city centre near the Tredgold Building, illegal food vendors have become a common sight in the evening capitalising on an illegal intercity bus rank.

In a statement, BCC town clerk Mr Christopher Dube said the bold step, which they took in consultation with Bulawayo Provincial Affairs and Devolution Minister Judith Ncube, is aimed at restoring sanity in the city.

"The Office of Minister of State for Provincial Affairs and Devolution and the City of Bulawayo would like to advise members of the public, stakeholders and the informal sector of the deadline to move from undesignated trading sites. The council has a mandate to restore order as guided by the Urban Councils (Model) (Hawkers and Street Vendors) by-laws," he said.

"All persons conducting unauthorised informal trading on undesignated sites in the City of Bulawayo, be it on the streets, pavements, roadways including washing of cars, repairing of vehicles, illegal pick-up points by private vehicles, commuter omnibuses and buses, delivery of farm produce and other products onto the streets, pushcarts, heavy commercial vehicles into the central business district, illegal throwing and dumping of garbage or litter are given up to Friday, 9 February 2024 to cease their illegal activities."

Mr Dube said informal traders should move to designated sites by February 9 while those who are registered to operate, but have either abandoned their bays or not paying the required fee, should regularise their operations.

He said all informal traders operating in the city are required to have a valid vendor's licence.

The registration sites are Dugmore vending offices (formerly Dugmore Clinic) between Basch Street and 6th Avenue.

For one to vend in the city centre, they are required to pay either US$11,50 per month or US$23 per year. Those who wish to trade outside the city centre should pay US$11,50 per year or US$5,75 per month.

Applicants should produce a copy of an ID, processed fingerprint forms vetted by police, two passport-size photos and the requisite fee for the licence.

However, those trading in fruits and vegetables, are supposed to first undergo pre-examination for contagious diseases and lessons on food handling and can visit the BCC's health services department at Khami Clinic.

Source - The Chronicle