A Special Allocation Committee including members of the Provincial Joint Operations Command (JOC) will be set up to curb partisan allocation of stalls by councils and ensure that informal traders affected by recent demolitions will not be displaced.
While local authorities are currently identifying and preparing suitable workspaces for informal traders, the committee will be responsible for making sure stalls are clean, orderly and well managed to ensure maximum revenue collection.
This was announced in a joint statement dated April 22, 2020 issued by Minister of State for Provincial Affairs and Devolution for Harare Metropolitan Province Engineer Oliver Chidawu and Harare Mayor Councillor Herbert Gomba.
Minister Chidawu and Mayor Gomba said the new stalls were expected to be ready before the expiry of the extended national lockdown as they had noted with concern the anxiety that gripped players in the informal sector since councils began removing illegal structures in the province.
“The exercise has indeed affected the livelihoods of residents in Harare,” they said.
“However, Government and local authorities are not insensitive to the plight of informal traders and fully realise the need to maintain their sources of income. To this end, the City of Harare and other local authorities are already in the process of identifying and preparing alternative workspaces for informal traders.”
Minister Chidawu and Mayor Gomba said the overriding objective of removing illegal structures was to ensure sanity prevailed.
“In order to allay fears of displacement, safeguard livelihoods and avoid partisanship in the allocation of stalls, we have today (Wednesday) agreed that there shall be a Special Allocation Committee to oversee the allocation of officially designated vending stalls and spaces to the affected informal traders,” they said.
“The committee shall be chaired by director of Housing and Community Services and shall include members of the Provincial Joint Operations Command (JOC) and a member from Ministry in addition to other members chosen by the committee. First preference shall be given to traders who have been affected by the current exercise and Government shall endeavour to ensure that no one is prejudiced.”