Recognise our role: Cross-border traders

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File picture: Cross-border traders loading goods

BY VANESSA GONYE
THE Zimbabwe Cross-Border Traders Association (ZCBTA) has expressed concern over government’s failure to recognise its members’ role in the informal economy.

In a statement on Monday, ZCBTA general-secretary Augustine Tawanda said despite the absence of official statistics on the informal sector’s contribution to the country’s gross domestic product, cross-border trading was making a huge difference in restoring livelihoods.

“The government must temporally lift import restrictions on some basic commodities which are being overcharged and allow cross-border traders to freely import the goods,” he said.

“It is sad to note that consumers are forced to pay through the nose for goods they can import from the region at competitive prices while on the other hand local producers prefer to profiteer in the name of protecting jobs.”

Tawanda said Zimbabwe was highly informalised, hence the need for cross-border traders to be allocated foreign currency and loans to support their businesses.

“Formalisation without institutionalisation is not sustainable and as a result, the government cannot formalise without engaging informal economy representatives,” he said.

It is estimated that over 90% of Zimbabweans work in the informal economy.

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