Cabinet has directed all local authorities to take advantage of the national lockdown to clean-up and renovate workspaces occupied by informal traders to improve their state ahead of the resumption of business.
Once players in SMEs and informal sector get protective clothing and equipment, they will be categorised as “essential”.
This is contained in a circular dated April 8, 2020, written by Local Government and Public Works Permanent Secretary Mr Zvinechimwe Churu.
The circular was directed to all town clerks, town secretaries and chief executives.
“At the ninth Cabinet meeting, it was resolved that local authorities should take advantage of the national lockdown to clean up and renovate small and medium enterprise and informal traders’ workspaces so that these areas will be more conducive to operate from when business reopens,” said Mr Churu.
“Please, make every effort to comply with this resolution. To this end, workers in this area would be classified as ‘essential’ in terms of Circular Minute 2 of 2020 and they should be provided with necessary protective clothing and equipment while they undertake their duties.”
Harare City Council’s deputy chairperson responsible for the informal sector/SMEs committee, Councillor Denford Ngadziore, said they had specific areas targeted for demolition as part of the clean-up.
“The popular Mupedzanhamo Market in Mbare will not be demolished as is being said in various social media spaces,” he said.
“The place earmarked for construction of the state-of-the-art Chishawasha Market Mall is where demolitions are taking place.
“The intention is to pave way for the construction of the market mall.”
The new mall is expected to accommodate over 3 000 traders.
Clr Ngadziore said hygienic way key in fighting Covid-19, adding that council was creating a hospitable environment through the demolitions of illegal structures.
He said notices to occupants were issued, but the occupants resisted.
To find an amicable solution, Clr Ngadziore’s committee will meet informal traders’ representatives through the Vendors Initiative for Social and Economic Transformation (VISET), together with other associations.
Sanyati Rural District Council CEO, Mr Achim Shadaya, said they were busy trying to rehabilitate Sanyati Growth Point.
Chegutu Municipality town clerk, Mr Alex Mandigo, said poor revenue inflows were partially affecting them.
“We have not fully complied with the directive due to financial constraints,” he said.
“We are collecting a fifth of our normal revenue collection due to the lockdown.”