Wed, Jan 19, 2022

Informal traders lament too much regulation

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By Phakamani Moyo

Bulawayo informal traders say the only way they can continue to survive and sustain their families is to continue with informal informal trading.

Triffonia Mthunzi said that in Zimbabwe we have too much regulations that impose costs, so many taxes and because of these regulations it leads to corruption “chioko muhomwe” for their business to be formalized. “As business women we are not motivated to formalize because we don’t have incentives for formalizing our business. If our government does not do away with some of the regulations that are not necessary and bureaucratic, the informal sector will continue to rise because we have families to feed,” said Mthunzi.

Lives of business operators at Dyeratu Trading Centre in Chikwawa under threat

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By Emmanuel Alufazema

Lives of business operators at Dyeratu Trading Centre in Chikwawa are in danger because of selling their merchandises along the main road, a thing which may likely cause fatal accidents if precautionary measures are not taken.

According to a synopsis checking after having visited the place, many people are selling their goods and services just in the main road resulting in narrowing down the road. This tendency has is causing motor vehicles struggling to pass through the road. And if the running motor vehicles like truck develops mechanical fault on the breaks it can easily end up killing innocent people due to carelessness.

In his remarks, Chikwawa Police Spokesperson, Dickson Matemba has admitted the challenges, saying they are working on it together with the District Council’s office to alleviate the challenge.

Government is supposed to construct a good market in order to safeguard lives of these people from avoidable accidents. On the same note, it should also conduct awareness campaigns on the danger of trading along the main road.

Street vending, a major source of livelihood for struggling Harare residents

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By Evernice Tayisepi

The economic hardships that are being experienced by Zimbabweans have resulted in older adults swarming the streets of Harare in an effort to make a living out of vending. Street vending in the pathetic economic environment is a relief to the suffocating economy as it creates jobs, not only for older adults around the city but also for the youths who most of them are drowning in drug abuse as a stress reliever. Street vending also provides alternative source of income particularly for women and provides low cost products mainly to low-income groups in the city who are trying to make ends meet in an economy where jobs are not available.

The increase of vending stalls is a clear sign of the high rate of unemployment yet only in June this year 2021, the City of Harare demolished vending malls, threatening the survival of the small scale businesses. The sad part is the city council workers take all the stuff the elderly sell when they catch them unaware, leaving the majority of them at a sad loss. The City council should have been sensitive and considerate enough and provide acceptable alternatives to the vendors and all relying on the informal sector, before demolishing the vending stalls. In as much as vendors should operate in designated places, the economic environment is not so encouraging hence they end up operating in the undesignated places which they are now destroying. As for the recent demolitions, the city council should have given a clear and long notice period at least than catching the elderly poor and
vulnerable unaware.

Vendors have a right to find economic opportunity in an environment where opportunities to do so in the formal sector are scarce. As much as safety and order are important, the livelihoods of hundreds of people (elderly) who are relying on selling for the livelihoods of their immediate and extended family are equally important or else people are relegated to extreme poverty, considering most of these elderly, especially women are widows who will be looking after grandchildren who have parents drained in extreme poverty due to the high unemployment rate amongst the young adults. The destruction of vending markets is just but a huge blow on these elderly vendors who are surviving on a hand to mouth basis. It continues to widen the gap between the rich and the poor, especially in the context of Covid-19, where lockdown is the new normal widening the gap between
the rich and poor.

Vending has helped older adults to deal with stresses that are associated with being idle all day in
homes. In a dialogue with the elderly woman, a vendor in Budiriro, she said opportunity permitting, she wants to be employed but in the meantime vending is the only option she has, to sustain her family. The community they live in should offer free space for them to keep them occupied during the day hence meeting their social needs and also economic needs. Depression affects the elderly mostly, due to idleness, so the fact that they now establish small scale markets outside their home gates is therapeutic and should be embraced by building them legal vending stalls.

This calls for regulatory authorities and government to put in place legislation and policies that recognize street vendors as key players in the country’s national economy. The suggestion is that local authorities prepare and provide space for the elderly vendors before they demolish vending structures with no alternative solutions to people who are only trying to make an honest living out of
their vending markets. The City Council should engage with vendors to come up with immediate solutions whilst working on permanent and sustainable strategies. Governance structures in local authorities should be strengthened as well and transparency equally with accountability should be improved, to enhance revenue collection which the Local Authorities need. Political interference and corruption should be arrested in order to achieve this.

Sewer bursts pose challenge for informal traders

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By Nothando Nodol Hadebe

Sewer bursts and water shortages are making life difficult for informal traders operating in Pumula North and Emakhandeni suburbs in Bulawayo.

This came out in an engagement meeting held by the Vendors Initiative for Social and Economic Transformation (VISET) on Friday.

Speaking during the meeting, one vendor, Talent Mpofu said the sewer bursts chase their customers away.

Also informal traders operating in ward 11, Emakhandeni highlighted the shortage of boreholes in their area as the major challenge affecting their vending businesses.

Chikwawa District Council fails to pay employees 7 months salary arrears

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By Emmanuel Alufazema

Some of the Chikwawa District Council concerned workers said that they are devastated with what they call their employer’s failure to pay them their seven months salary arrears.

According to the workers, especially those who clean up in the street, they have not been paid for seven months and are worried because the council keeps on changing dates of promises to pay them.

Commenting on the issue, Chikwawa District Commissioner (DC) Ali Phiri admitted this saying they have salary arrears to settle for some of its junior employees. Phiri said the arrears are for three months not seven months as the workers are starting.

The DC further claims that the council is struggling financially hence failure to settle down salary arrears for the workers.

`A timely provision of making payments to these concerns workers will help them to buy food and other daily necessities in life.

The plight of small-scale businesses at Limbuli Trading Center

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by Patrick Chihami

Eight years have passed since the construction of the new Limbuli Market in Malawi which unfortunately has never come to an end as planned. Corruption by the Mulanje District Council officials, the construction company and trading center top leaders like old market chairman emerged to be the main contributing factor.

Surprisingly, the government through the District Council, demolished the small old market and forced people to start using the facility despite being in the unfinished state as such it doesn’t have toilets, electricity, waste disposal sites and store rooms just to mention a few. As a sign of dissatisfaction, people have been demonstrating for better conditions but nothing has changed and this has led to street vending.

To prevent further inconveniences like increase in cases of road accidents and high accumulation of wastes in the streets, the government should finish the construction process for the facility to satisfy all business people. This will show the seriousness of the government in achieving 2063 Vision where improvement of market facilities saves as one way of developing small scale businesses across Malawi.

Bulawayo City Council urged to erect proper infrastructure for vendors

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By Minenhle Moyo

Vendors operating in Bulawayo have expressed concern over the unbearable working conditions during the rainy season, citing low returns as their main challenge.

Lack of proper vending infrastructure, such as vending shades entails that all vending bays will be desserted during the rainy season and most vendors will not be operating.

The plight of vendors during the rainy season is in sight and calls have been made to Bulawayo City Council to erect proper vending infrastructure for traders.

Covid 19, 350 Sassa grant application

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by Rapule Moiloa

When Covid 19, 350 Sassa grant was announced by Cyril Ramaphosa who stated that the application will be opened for unemployed people in South Africa, many people applied for the grant and many people went to apply for the grant regardless of the amount many of the people who have already applied have not received.

There are those who recieved the grant once or twice after the announcement of the relief grant but others have not because it said is that they are Irp5 registered that’s the reason why they have not been able to get the money from Sassa including me because its a game of pending and decline application since the first day of the application.

This shows that the department rely on the previous information, Sassa does not find ways to communicate with applicants it is found that they Irp5 registered to hear from them because what they use is old data from SARs hence there’s corruption because those working there don’t communicate to hear from us as unemployed applicants, they must change their system of working or approach to such.

Jealousy the order of the day

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A well planned event in Diepkloof Zone4 Polokelo Street organised by Entity Musiq up coming artists in Diepkloof zone 4 Polokelo street nearly sabotaged by jealousy. This event is meant to lift these young people’s careers as musicians from the standard from which they are now to a much better place or standard in the music industry, then someone decided to snitch on them and their event which is well mannered no mask no entry, tickets are sold according to sections but jealous is the order of the day to sabotage these young people’s careers. Johannesburg Metro Department is on an alert at the venue which is in the street because someone called them to come stop the event.

People devise means for survival as the economic crisis bites

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People have been through so many challenges during the lockdown. Retrenchment, unemployment, loss of income, water crisis, no schooling, Gender Based Violence, hunger etc and this has caused lot of people to stand up and start businesses by selling products and services. I was at Jane Furse plaza and I realized that there is more people who are selling products. People have struggled during the past months and no one likes to live in poverty or go to bed with an empty stomach. I also listened to a guy who was selling bananas and avocados, his advertising skills were so good that I realized that people have skills but need a good Samaritan to help then to be great business people. Taxis are also back in taxi rank in the shopping center but the problem is, the shopping center is over crowded. Villages should be developed for a better life.