New fruit, vegs market 95% complete

Bulawayo Vendors and Traders Association (BVTA) director Michael Ndiweni

A NEW fruit and vegetable market being constructed in Bulawayo to decongest the central business district (CBD) is said to be 95% complete.

The alternative distribution market is near Nkulumane Mall.

Bulawayo Vendors and Traders Association (BVTA) director Michael Ndiweni expressed hope that traders would move into the market before May.

“Brickwork, roofing, plastering has been done. We are 95% done. It is expected to be completed by the end of this month,” Ndiweni said.

The project was initially set for completion in September last year, but was delayed because of rising costs amid a harsh economic climate.

“We had problems like ballooning cost of materials versus the budget andweather patterns, plant equipment breakdowns,” Ndiweni said.

The project is being spearheaded by the Local Government and Public Works ministry under the Building Urban Resilience in Zimbabwe Through Safe Markets and Green Solutions programme.

It is funded by the United Nations Development Programme with Bulawayo City Council and BVTA as the implementing partners.

The project was mooted at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic when council removed vendors from the CBD to decongest the city.

At the time, council said it was targeting some of the bus termini in residential areas for use as vending bays.

In December 2019, BVTA presented its proposed market models in its inclusive cities planning and designing initiative for vendors and informal traders to the council.

According to BVTA, the majority of vendors and informal traders lack decent working spaces and are excluded in city planning and designing as this process is perceived to be a preserve of experts.

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