Thousands of families will lose their livelihoods as they survive on vending to sustain their livelihoods. Due to the current Covid-19 national lockdown, the government has barred most informal traders. They are not selling fresh market produce to close business.
More than 60% of Zimbabwe’s working population now survives on vending or other informal sector operations. There is need for the government to recognise the trade and provide necessary safety nets.
The 60% translates to over 10 million people surviving on the informal sector.
Cross was speaking during a zoom meeting organised by Vendors Initiative for Economic Transformation (VISET). It was under the “Economic Transformation Decongesting Markets, An Update of Renovations and Development of Satellite Markets” Thursday.
Cross said Zimbabwe was now second most informalised economy according to analysis by the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF). It has about two million people working surviving on vending.
“At least 10 million people get source of livelihood to activities of the member of the family who is vending. Therefore, it is the obligation of local authorities and there are over 100 of them to provide facilities for vendors within the councils. That is where the future of Zimbabwe’s economy lies,” he said.
Cross added he didn’t think the government of the importance of the informal sector.
“I think it is very important for them to recognise those issues. One thing I have constantly noted is the under representation of the small guys while they are the largest contributors to the nation.
“They should not relay on sponsorship but on proper representation. We as individuals, would not survive without the informal sector,” said Cross.
This week, the Harare City Council issued a warning to all tuckshop owners vendors operating in the capital city to remove pull down their structures before 18 February failure of which the local authority would move in and demolish them.