THE Bulawayo City Council (BCC) has announced that it is temporarily closing a section of 5th Avenue to prepare 500 trading bays to accommodate informal traders.
Council has been engaged in running battles with vendors operating along the road without licences at undesignated sites.
In a notice to residents and traders last week, Bulawayo town clerk Christopher Dube said: “The closure of a portion of 5th Avenue will comply with the Roads Act [Chapter 13:13] Part VI section 33 and rescinds previous council resolutions of June 3, 2020 and December 7, 2022. The portion of 5th Avenue will now have two riding lanes and vending bays for the 500 informal traders.
“Council recognises the need to strike a balance among multiple functionalities such as parking, informal trading, vehicular traffic movement and access to property by property owners, hence the closure of a portion of 5th Avenue.
“The temporary closure will ensure that all road users including property owners from the southern side are able to park their vehicles in close proximity to their working spaces.”
Dube said the decision to temporarily close 5th Avenue was a result of stakeholder engagement and dovetails into the City of Bulawayo’s strategy to enhance local economic development through the provision of accessible and affordable working spaces. ”The temporary closure of 5th Avenue will be complemented by the establishment of a new vending site for clothing and fruits along Lobengula Street between 2nd Avenue terminus and the municipal Roads Yard.
“We expect all traders on 5th Avenue to vacate the road to allow the implementation of the council resolution. The execution of the resolution will entail cleaning of the area demarcation of bays, construction of safe working spaces and allocation of vending bays in the usual manner,” Dube said.
He said those who needed to register should have a copy of their identity document, processed fingerprint forms, proof of residence at a property in Bulawayo, two passport size photos and requisite fees for the licence.
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“For those trading in fruits and vegetables — pre-examination for contagious diseases and lessons on food handling with the City of Bulawayo Health Services Department (Khami Road Clinic) are prerequisites,” Dube said.
“All communication relating to the vendors re-organisation will be formally communicated by the City of Bulawayo using authorised channels.”