THE Bulawayo City Council (BCC) is mulling a permanent ban on informal trading in the central business district (CBD) post-COVID-19 lockdown as part of measures to bring sanity in the city, Southern Eye has established.
BY NQOBANI NDLOVU
Bulawayo’s city pavements, as in other cities and towns, have been turned into vending bays as many turn to informal trading to make a living in the face of company closures, high joblessness and poverty in Zimbabwe.
The streets have been deserted in recent weeks after the imposition of COVID-19 lockdown measures and city fathers have used the opportunity to map strategies of outlawing vending in the CBD.
City fathers have also been demolishing informal traders’ vending facilities in the CBD.
Bulawayo mayor Solomon Mguni confirmed the development yesterday, adding that the measures were now awaiting endorsement when the full council meets.
“It is something that has been under discussion by the COVID-19 council taskforce which brings together councillors and management. We (taskforce) have adopted those recommendations, pending endorsement by the council.
“Vegetable vendors will be supplied with fresh farm produce in their residential areas once the measures are adopted,” he said, adding “this is also a way of decentralising the services to the people”.
Bulawayo Vendors and Traders Association (BVTA) executive director Michael Ndiweni said the association was in full support of council’s plans, but urged city fathers to ensure the provision of decent working spaces in the residential areas.
“We hope that this also means providing amenities such as water and toilets for the informal traders to be able to work in proper places and facilities,” he said.
Meanwhile, the Zimbabwe Chamber of Informal Economy Associations – an association representing vendors across the country – has rapped local authorities for demolishing structures belonging to informal traders in the name of fighting COVID-19.