Craft policy for informal sector traders: Think-tank

Source: Craft policy for informal sector traders: Think-tank –Newsday Zimbabwe

Informal sector traders

GOVERNMENT has been urged to transform the informal sector by crafting a policy document to formalise it.

In its April policy digest, the Zimbabwe Coalition on Debt and Development (Zimcodd) said:  “We believe that the religious adoption of the proposed policy alternative will culminate in a positive transformation of the informal sector. A just model policy for the informal sector must respect the right to carry on trade or business as codified in section 64 of the Constitution which provides for the right to freedom of choice and practice of a trade or profession.”

Zimcodd said the Constitution obliged government to promote private initiatives and self-reliance.

In 2018, government announced plans to harness revenue from the informal sector by formalising it. The same sentiments were echoed by President Emmerson Mnangagwa in 2023 when he announced that government will craft a formalisation strategy.

A survey by Zimcodd on the plight of people in the informal sector revealed that they are affected by corruption at the borders, hence the need for an alternative policy or inclusive framework targeting the informal sector.

Some of the challenges faced by the informal sector were said to be limited credit lines, partisan politics, retrogressive taxation systems, gender abuse and imbalances, lack of insurance, police brutality, infrastructure gaps and the currency crisis, among others.

“87% of the respondents are of the opinion that government policies are not inclusive and progressive with regards to informal actors’ inclusion, hence the need to formulate a policy relating the informal sector players,” Zimcodd said.