Apex Structure in the pipeline to formalise the informal sector

By Iden M Maphosa

Bulawayo Vendors and Traders Association (BVTA) in partnership with Vendors Initiative for Social and Economic Transformation (VISET) and Zimbabwe Coalition on Debt and Development (ZIMCODD) on Tuesday hosted a meeting to facilitate dialogue between the informal sector and stakeholders on the importance of transitioning from the informal to the formal economy.

This comes after many disadvantages have been faced by informal stakeholders, such as vendors, farmers and artisanal miners in their day to day operations.

Speaking during the meeting, ZIMCODD Social and Economic Justice Ambassador , Thandoe Gwinji ,, said the informal sector faces several disadvantages such as being left out of social protection through Labour laws and City by-laws .

Gwinji said it was important that they transform from the informal to the formal sector to acquire occupational health and safety standards.

“We are saying workers in the informal economy are experiencing severe disadvantages and they are experiencing them as individuals and as groups . In them being severe their work has been characterized by small workspaces. I am talking about workspaces , im talking about productivity , income the long working hours which are affected by these conditions”.

Responding to this during the same meeting, Shelton Mthunzi Sithole, Bulawayo City Council Town planner said the local authority was in the process of formulating an apex structure to incorporate all informal traders.

“We have a strategy that we want to go towards to that is the Bulawayo Informal economy expects strategy . We have done the first part but we have noticed that it is not conclusive in terms of being inclusive so what we are doing right we are identifying other actors in the informal sector in Bulawayo and we go back to the drawing board”.

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