THE Bulawayo Vendors and Traders Association (BVTA) is pushing for amendments to the city’s hawkers and vending by-laws, saying current statutes governing the operations of informal traders are outdated.
By NQOBANI NDLOVU
BVTA executive director Michael Ndiweni said the push for the amendments of the hawkers and vending by-laws that were promulgated in 1976 follows a year-long research on best practice in model vending laws.
The BVTA commissioned the National University of Science and Technology (NUST) to conduct the research, Ndiweni said, adding the informal traders’ association also conducted countrywide consultations and visits to Ethekwini municipality and the City of Johannesburg in South Africa to study best model vending laws.
“The Hawkers and Street Vendors by-laws of 1976 are restrictive, and do not address the rights of vendors. The model by-laws are a result of 43 public consultations that were held from 2015 when the council proposed amendments to the model hawkers and street vendor’s by-laws of 1976,” Ndiweni said.
“Council has 114 vending sites designated but in practice, vending continues to be made illegal, the process of registering vendors remains unnecessarily cumbersome with a lot of red tape inimical of the colonial period.”
Ndiweni said the push for amendments to the vending laws is to ensure the protecting of vendors’ rights, to facilitate orderly informal trading and to harmonise the relationship between the informal trading sector and the formal sector.
According to findings of a BVTA research conducted by NUST, 59% of vendors and informal traders are not aware of the provisions of city by-laws.