Bulawayo Vendors Trained In Online Trading

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By Bulawayo Correspondent

THE Bulawayo Vendors Traders Association (BVTA) has started online trade training on its members who are into street vending and have been negatively affected by the national lockdown.

Street vendors have been severely hit by the Covid-19 lockdown which started on March 20 this year.

BVTA Director Michael Ndiweni said the association decided to come up with the online trade training programme upon realising the government was talking long to release relief funds for the affected vendors.

The government last month announced that it had unveiled ZWL$200 for each of the affected registered informal traders in the country as a cushioning allowance.

However, no single vendor has received the money since the pledge was made.

“Instead of waiting for the cushioning funds from government, as vendors and informal traders we have come together and offered some online training for them to start producing their products and feed into the market,” said Ndiweni.

He explained since the start of the national lockdown, the majority of individual vendors had been trying to market their wares but to no avail.

“They have been doing this as individuals but now they are coming together into groups. Our teams are providing technical expertise in terms of quality and branding,”

“Our aim is to push them to form properly established companies that can produce and feed into the market, that’s the new shift instead under this pandemic” said Ndiweni.

Some of the vendors who spoke to New blasted the government for failing to disburse the relief funds on time.

“The situation is really bad, so we realised that we need to take action otherwise we will starve to death,” Miriam Sizinda.

“By the time the government decides to finally give us the relief funds it will be worth buying airtime only and this has really shown us that the government does not care about its people,” she said.