Bulawayo mayor Thaba Moyo has pledged to give priority to cross-border traders in the allocation of residential and commercial stands as a way of promoting the informal sector.
Moyo, who was speaking at the launch of the Travelex Visa and the Rand card by the Cross-Border Traders’ Association, asked the cross-border traders to draw up a list of their members who required houses and stands so that they could be given stands or be shortlisted on the council’s housing waiting list.
“You should go and compile a register of your membership, including their ID numbers. You should also register on the Bulawayo City Council (BCC) waiting list then attach an application letter for all the members.
“We will give you space but it’s not serviced. You will do that yourself. We have done that before and we will have no problem doing it again,” he said.
The mayor said the BCC recognised the informal sector as a major player and stakeholder in the city’s economy.
“As the BCC we see the informal sector as a big partner. We know that the economy has not been doing well in the past 10 to 15 years and that is what brought the informal sector to the fore of the country’s economy,” he said.
Moyo said the city was trying to find ways to accommodate informal traders in vacant buildings in the city but was still dealing with various challenges.
“There are two major challenges. We have vacant buildings and residents here in the city are not given places to stay and trade because the owners of the shops and flats look for people from other places who pay a lot of money. We will put a stop to that. I will not say how but we, the residents of Bulawayo, have a right to be protected by the city,” he said.