The Bulawayo Vendors and Traders Association (BVTA), Wednesday, submitted its proposed hawkers and vending by-laws stating that the current statutes governing the operations of informal traders are outdated.
BVTA president Aleck Ndlovu said the push for the amendment of the 1976 by-law is meant to cater for the interests of vendors.
“These by–laws do not capture the aspirations and the current operating environment of the vendors such as infrastructure and licensing issues,” said Ndlovu.
“We also have a problem with the confiscation of vendors wares by the city council which they further hand over to the police”.
The association has for the past three years been advocating for the modernization of the council by-laws which they said were enacted in 1976.
The association`s legal representative Tineyi Mukwewa told CITE that conducted a thorough consultation with vendors from all wards in the city and other stakeholders.
“We highlighted some of the deficiencies in the walkers and street vendors` by-laws,” said Mukwewa.
“Critically amongst them is that it does not acknowledge the provisions of the constitution which promotes and protects the rights of the informal traders”.
Mukwewa also noted that the proposed by-laws will protect vendors` rights.
“The push for amendments to the vending laws is to ensure the protecting of vendors’ rights, to facilitate orderly informal trading and to harmonise the relationship between the informal trading sector and the formal sector,” he said.
However, we came with our own by – laws which speak to the provisions of the constitution.”
“These are administrative justice, decentralization of licensing to make sure that vendors can access them to their nearest housing office. Also the time frame in which applications are responded to should be a minimum of three days.”
Meanwhile, some of the vendors said they are confident that the proposed by-laws will go a long way in improving their sector.
“I believe that they will help especially looking at the issues to do with water and toilets,” said Ward 9 organizer Madade Ndlovu.
Lillian Musipane said that as youths they are happy that BVTA has finally submitted the proposed by-laws.
“We hope that the proposed by-laws will be looked into so that us as young people we can be allocated stands in conducive spaces, so that we can avoid selling our stuff in bridges and on the side of the road.”