BULAWAYO Vendors and Traders’ Association (BVTA) has blamed the Bulawayo City Council for the congestion and disorder caused by informal traders because they were allocated less strategic vending sites, hence they invaded the central business district.
BY ALEXIS SIBANDA
Speaking at the Bulawayo informal sector policy research findings seminar at Bulawayo Club yesterday, BVTA executive director, Michael Ndiweni said they needed a city where there was development that can best suit informal traders.
“Street vendors prefer to locate themselves where there is an overflow of traffic and pedestrians. They target places that are busy for their business to be seen and, thus, congestion remains to be a problem in Bulawayo because the council fails to allocate those people accordingly,” he said.
Linda Magwaro, one of the researchers, said the street vendors were not satisfied with the spatial quality of places that they were offered by the local authority and, thus, they move and look for other places.
“Street vendors are also concerned about security and their safety. They have to allocate themselves in places they have such,” she said.
She said there was also poor infrastructure at vending sites which needs to be addressed.
Ward 4 councillor, Silas Chigora said vendors do not want to operate in allocated places
“Vendors want to operate from everywhere and anywhere and use toilets from anywhere. They expect the council to put toilets there. Obviously we will not put toilets everywhere. People should go in appropriate places,” he said.
Chigora said informal sector was a result of a decaying economy.
“Most of the people are unemployed and as the council we never planned for that. We are in this situation because of our economy.”