BY PRAISEMORE SITHOLE
Bulawayo-based informal traders have launched an application called Sizimele to help market their products both locally and internationally.
Last month, the informal traders underwent capacity-building training to enable them to endure economic shocks caused by natural disasters such as COVID-19.
The vendors have been at the mercy of law enforcement agents who have made their operations very difficult.
Bulawayo Vendors and Traders Association director Michael Ndiweni said they had successfully launched their application which would help vendors access more markets.
“We have successfully launched our application called Sizimele, through support from the Zimbabwe Resilience Building Fund under our Sizimele consortium. This application is promoting market linkages,” Ndiweni said.
“It is a platform that you can upload products that you are selling, predominantly agricultural products and if there are buyers they are able to view your products and communicate with you through the chat platform box. It is also linked with WhatsApp, so you can also communicate using WhatsApp.”
Ndiweni said the application was found on Google Play Store and when downloading, you follow the processes of signing up.
“The application has a 30% offline facility; that is, you can be able to view who is selling what. This application, in our view, is going to revolutionise the informal sector and create linkages for sellers who are in the rural areas,” Ndiweni
“This is an effort to ensure that people can actually trade. Physical gatherings have been limited, so we are tapping into the concept of the fourth industrial revolution where commerce is now being done by just a click of a button.”
Recently, the traders rapped Bulawayo City Council for taking too long to license their vending stalls to enable them to resume their operations.
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