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Hundreds Attend VISET’s Stakeholders Engagement and Listening Meetings in Cowdray Park, Pumula and Entumbane

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On Wednesday the 31st of May and Thursday the 1st of June 2023, the Vendors Initiative for Social and Economic Transformation (VISET) was in Bulawayo for yet another round of Stakeholders Engagement and Listening Meetings. The meetings were attended by representatives from Bulawayo City Council’s department of planning, department of security, municipal police, residents associations representatives and elected councilors.

The meetings brought together over 105 informal economy workers that included street vendors, cross border traders, young entrepreneurs from ward 10 (Entumbane), ward 28 (Cowdray park) and ward 17 (Pumula). The purpose of the Stakeholders Engagement and Listening Meeting was to allow selected leaders and solution holders to interrelate and listen to the challenges faced by informal economy workers that are operating in the wards mentioned above. The outcomes of the discussions will be used to inform and shape VISET’s short, medium and long term interventions.

Discussion points

The following are some of the concerns or issues raised by the informal economy workers domiciled in the targeted wards.

  1. Illegal or arbitrary confiscation of wares and merchandise.
  2. Shortage of proper or modern vending stalls with ablution facilities including water, toilets and storage spaces.
  3. Cumbersome licensing processes that are prone to corruption and underhand dealings.
  4. Lack of information about the registration process – there were strong suggestions to have a one stop shop to facilitate the registration and regularization of the operations of informal economy workers.
  5. The continuous unavailability of ward 10 councilor to attend to the issues affecting residents in the area.
  6. Perennial water shortages.
  7. Load sheading.

After the submissions from the informal economy workers, the solution holders present were given the opportunity to respond and the following ACTION POINTS were agreed upon and adopted.

  1. VISET to organize an Expanded Informal Economy Stakeholders Indaba
  2. Conduct ward based meetings with Bulawayo City Council’s Informal Economy committee
  3. Set up a hotline to report cases of corruption and underhand dealings.
  4.  VISET develop a model/alternative guide on decentralization of markets from Central Business District to the wards and locations.

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