The Bulawayo Vendors and Traders Association (BVTA) wants the government to provide social services to informal traders in the form of pensions, medical aid, insurance and loans.
Speaking during a meeting on the informal economy held in the city on Monday, BVTA executive director Michael Ndiweni urged all business organisations to recognise the informal businesses as a partner in the national economy.
He also wanted businesses to encourage their members to include informal businesses in their value chains, in order to develop essential linkages between informal and formal businesses.
“The government should avoid taking actions against informal economy workers that results in loss of property and livelihoods, but rather to promote their well-being through developing a conducive operating environment for them and to provide incentives for formal sector businesses to support informal economy businesses,” Ndiweni said.
“The government should establish a close relationship between the informal economy and the Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries (CZI) and arrange for informal economy suppliers to be listed in the CZI database.”
He added that vendors should be granted access to social services such as pensions, medical aid and insurance.
Bulawayo vendors called on the government to establish secure market spaces for informal economy businesses in both urban and rural areas. They appealed for enough trading space, so that they grow their businesses.
Ndiweni said government should promote dialogue with vendors and the Bankers Association of Zimbabwe as well as the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe on financial facilities, including loan finance for the informal economy.
“There should be provision of financial services from banks to vendors. Vendors should be offered loans to grow their businesses,” he said.