Vendors Initiative for Social and Economic Transformation (VISET) today, Thursday the 10th of June 2021, held market tours in Bulawayo to assess the progress made by local authorities in markets reconstruction, as well as gauge COVID-19 compliance amongst traders. The project is part of the Economic Governance Initiative (EGI) consortium that VISET is a part of. Edward Kapodogo VISET Monitoring and Evaluation Officer began by thanking Bulawayo City Council (BCC) for the proactive stance they have taken in reviewing and updating their bylaws as well as their engagement with informal trader representative bodies.
The meeting which was graced by the Deputy Mayor of Bulawayo Ward 1 Councillor Mlandu Ncube, Ward 22 Councillor Rodney Donnovan Jele, BCC Department of Town Planning officials and resident associations representative heads and informal trader representatives. Deputy Mayor Mlandu thanked VISET for their donations of PPEs and sanitizers and expressed the hope that the partnership would continue given that there was a risk of a third wave.
The market tours began with a tour to Highlanders market where mostly traders of second hand clothing who used to operate from the closed 6th Avenue market are now located. The market is well run by a market development committee but recently suffered a setback when the perimeter fence was stolen.
The tour then moved to Shasha market that mainly specializes in traders of dried foods and once again at this market, all entry points had sanitizers, with market stalls spaced a metre apart. Traders expressed satisfaction with the manner in which they were relating with Council but requested assistance of municipal police to rid a section of the market where some unscrupulous unlicensed traders were coming to trade their goods. Council said they would engage the market development committee with a view to erect a perimeter wall.
The last stop on the tour was the Nkulumane market where traders of dried foods, electricals, second hand clothing and fresh produce all ply their trade in demarcated zones. All COVID protocols were being observed at the market. The traders requested for council to set up cloak rooms to house their wares as private players were charging them exorbitant fees.
Edward Kapodogo of VISET thanked the Deputy Mayor and his team for taking time out to be on the tours and expressed the hope that the grievances expressed by traders would be addressed.