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Vendors decry unfavourable conditions at Egodini

by Staff reporter
04 Mar 2024 at 04:42hrs | Views
VENDORS operating at the newly refurbished Egodini Terminus have expressed concern over what they termed "unfavourable" business conditions after Bulawayo City Council (BCC) allegedly barred them from selling perishables such as vegetables and fruits, which are in demand.

However, illegal vendors operating outside the Egodini perimeter fence sell vegetables and fruits.

The traders said lack of electricity on their stalls is also another setback for their business given that some market their products via social media platforms, which they access through their mobile phones which must be constantly charged.

Ms Bekezela Ndlovu who sells biscuits and fizzy drinks, said before relocating to Egodini, she used to sell fruits.

"I have been here for almost two weeks, but business is not so good. Before I came here I used to sell fruits and other perishable products," she said.

"However, when I was allocated a stand at Egodini, authorities gave us conditions. They told us that we are not supposed to sell perishables so I had to think of another line of business because I didn't want to lose the stand."

Ms Ndlovu urged BCC to install electricity in their stalls so that traders can widen their clientele and earn more income.

A vendor who refused to be named said they were facing stiff competition from illegal vendors operating near Egodini.

A Chronicle news crew recently observed several illegal vendors operating on the other side of the Egodini perimeter fence.

Some were selling soft drinks, boiled eggs and cigarettes while others sold meals which have a ready market.

Initially, there was resistance from vendors and commuters when the Egodini terminus was reopened last month.

BCC in conjunction with Terracotta Private Limited reopened Egodini taxi rank and informal traders on February 5, with authorities directing commuter operators to stop operating from the central business district. The council is on a drive to decongest the city with its operation targeting illegal taxi operators and vendors operating on the pavements of the city's road.

Informal traders are required to pay CBD licence fees of US$23 per year    and monthly rentals of $11,50 per   month.

Those operating outside the city centre are expected to pay US$11,50 annually while paying US$5,75 monthly rentals.

Applicants are required to produce Identity documents, processed fingerprint forms (vetted by CID), proof of residence for a property in Bulawayo (in the form of a water or electricity bill), two passport-size photos and requisite fees for the licence.

Those trading in fruits and vegetables should produce pre-examination for contagious diseases and lessons on food handling with the City of Bulawayo Health Services Department (Khami Road Clinic).

Source - The Chronicle