Byo registers 6,000 vendors
THE Bulawayo City Council ( BCC) has so far registered over 6,000 informal traders in its computer database as the local authority intensifies its vending management programme.
The city has a total of 7 206 registered informal traders.
Briefing the media at the council chambers on Tuesday, BCC assistant director for housing and community services Mr Dictor Khumalo said the local authority was also in the process of licensing airtime vendors.
“In terms of vending management in the city, the progress is as follows: we’ve a total of 7 206 registered informal traders in the city; we still have a lot of vacant or unoccupied bays citywide, which are 6 132 and most of these bays are located in some urban shopping centres,” he said.
“We’re also in the process of computerising all our informal traders, to that end we’ve captured 6 076 informal traders in our database.”
Mr Khumalo said each and every shopping centre in the city has an area designated for vending and council is encouraging residents to take up the vending opportunities existing in terms of the planned vacant bays.
In terms of vending developments in the city in line with the Government’s directive in 2015 to restore sanity in the informal trading sector, he said BCC has developed and designated a major trading site adjacent to Highlanders Football Club house. The trading site has about 800 vending bays. “The whole site has been surfaced with 770 bays having already been designated. To improve lighting, we’ve installed lights there and a toilet has been rehabilitated for use by the traders,” he said, adding that plans are in progress to erect shelters ahead of the next rainy season.
As part of vending management by council, BCC has also reviewed vending fees with arrears that had accrued over the years being written off in January this year.
is was a response to a request by the vendors who indicated that they could not afford paying the accruals.
“Also to try and encourage vending in the western areas, the rentals were reduced to $5 and in the city centre, they’re averaging $11,50. All vendors are required to have trading licences and the licence fee is $23 per year,” said Mr Khumalo.
Last year, the Government directed all local authorities to formalise informal traders to restore sanity.
Like other local authorities, Bulawayo has in the past not been spared from misunderstandings with vendors over legal vending points where they can operate from.
This has seen municipal police getting involved in running battles with the vendors confiscating their wares as part of efforts to compel them to conduct their operations at designated areas. — @okazunga.
Millenium Footwear Director Stuart Simali stresses a point to the Minister of Small and Medium Enterprises and Cooperative Development Sithembiso Nyoni during a tour of the company in Belmont yesterday.Looking on are the co-founder and Administrator Sikhangezokuhle Simali (holding a file) and ministry officials