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No economic business from Youth Games

Markets
BULAWAYO businesses and industries continued reeling from subdued demand despite widespread expectations that the African Union Sports Council Region 5 Under-20 Youth Games that ended on Sunday would trigger a temporary boom.

BULAWAYO businesses and industries continued reeling from subdued demand despite widespread expectations that the African Union Sports Council Region 5 Under-20 Youth Games that ended on Sunday would trigger a temporary boom.

BATANAI MUTASA OWN CORRESPONDENT

Matabeleland Chamber of Industries president Busisa Moyo said industry could not attribute the marginal rise in demand to the games because it was characteristic of the festive season.

“We did not see any tangible benefit as industry which I think would be associated with curios, hotels and restaurants, but at the moment I can only refer to the cooking oil industry which is where I work,” he said.

“I did not expect demand to rise that much for industry because these were Under-20 games and the participants had pre-planned schedules.

“There was no expectation that visiting teams would go on shopping sprees as compared to a visit by five English League teams, for example, because although there was increased activity, business did not cascade to industry because the capacity of visitors was also limited in terms of finance.”

Moyo said although the festive season provided an expected rise in business with the last quarter of the year usually accounting for approximately 40% of annual sales, 2014 was rather depressed.

“Maybe a realistic increase would be in fast moving consumer goods,” he said.

Zimbabwe Chamber of Informal Economy Association (ZCEA) Matabeleland region chapter president Edward Manning expressed disappointment at the failure by organisers of the youth games to incorporate informal traders.

“I think our members could have benefited more, but there was no communication such that they did not participate in the tender process and now we have nothing to show for hosting these games,” he said.

“In fact, some traders lost business as a result. For example, I visited the flower vendors at the City Hall and their complaint was that the housing department forbade them to erect shades to protect their flowers from the sun for the duration of the games and most of their merchandise withered.”

Manning said he had not yet received a comprehensive report from members of ZCEA who won tenders to sell at the games, but the general assessment was that not much business was realised by informal traders.