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Minister pleads for land for small businesses

News
SMALL and Medium Enterprises and Co-operative Development minister, Sithembiso Nyoni last week pleaded with government to provide land

SMALL and Medium Enterprises and Co-operative Development minister, Sithembiso Nyoni last week pleaded with government to provide land for millions of Zimbabweans operating small businesses from backyards, footpaths and streets, describing them as hustlers trying to make an honest living.

BY MOSES MATENGA STAFF REPORTER

The majority of those in the informal sector operate from open spaces.

Nyoni told residents in Chitungwiza that more than $7.4 billion was circulating in the informal sector, adding that there was need to formalise their business and contribute to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

“There is talk of unemployment but you see Zimbabweans everywhere, hustling up and down to earn an honest living and say why are they not contributing to the GDP,” said Nyoni. “5.7 million people are engaged in the SMEs (Small and Medium Enterprises) sector with an annual turnover of $7.4 billion. There is need for SMEs to be formalised, regularised and assisted in terms of infrastructure provision.”

She added: “Zimbabweans are organised people and want organised things. We are here to provide leadership for an organised Zimbabwe.”

Nyoni said more than 252 000 people were operating from open spaces constituting 9% of the 2.8 million in the SMEs sector.

She said 69% of informal economic enterprises operate from their residents’ backyards, footpaths or were of no fixed aboard.