By Bulawayo Correspondent
BULAWAYO Vendors Traders Association (BVTA) has applauded the Bulawayo City Council’s decision to relocate all vendors from the city centre to the high-density suburbs as part of efforts to minimise the spread of COVID-19 in the city.
Last week, Bulawayo City Council Director of Housing, Dictor Khumalo wrote to leaders of vendor associations advising them of council’s decision to relocate informal traders and close all vending bays in the city.
However, BVTA director Michael Ndiweni said the relocation of vendors to residential areas will help reduce cases of women getting mugged while going into the CBD to order stock and also cut on transport costs.
“We believe that the relocation of vendors and traders will help reduce cases of women getting mugged or harassment in the wee hours of the morning as they rush to the market to order goods for resell,” he said.
“Most of the people familiar with informal trading in Zimbabwe know that scores of people, including women leave their homes as early as 4 am to order vegetables for reselling.
“If producers were directed to deliver their farm produce in designated townships and warehouses, our membership would not be flocking to the CBD to order goods or for trading because wholesalers will be accessible in the townships.
“We believe that bringing wholesalers closer to traders will thereby reduce significant transportation costs. We have also observed that flocking into town was a result of a planning conundrum.”
Ndiweni also encouraged the local council to provide vendors with proper amenities such as toilets, running water, and security.