By Sibongile Maruta
Informal sector players want Government to craft a regulatory framework that protects and nurtures the sector as it plays an important role in the development of the economy. In an interview with The Herald yesterday, Zimbabwe Chamber of Informal Economy Associations secretary-general Mr Wisborn Malaya said the sector employed the bulk of the local workforce.
“The informal economy has a role to play in the development of the economy. We are looking at how best there can be policy intervention to change the mindset of how people operating in the informal sector are being viewed in Zimbabwe,” said Mr Malaya.
“We would like to see Government’s intervention and policy makers taking up the responsibility of closing the gaps that we have identified, and this includes policy intervention by Government. Ninety-four percent of people working are those in the informal sector and people are still surviving due to activities carried out in the informal sector,” he said.
Centre for International Private Enterprise Africa (CIPE) regional director Mr Lars Benson said the informal economy was a major contributor to the country’s gross domestic product (GDP).
“When we talk about the informal sector, we do not only focus on street vending but rather there are entrepreneurs and other small businesses. The informal economy is huge and it is a big contributor to gross domestic product in Zimbabwe. Our goal is to work with our partners and there has to be a collective approach to solve problems faced by the informal economy,” he said
CIPE is an affiliate of the US Chamber of Commerce.
Meanwhile, Harare City Council has admitted it has failed to remove vendors from the streets, writes Audrey Rundofa.
Council said it was working on new strategies to remove the illegal vendors.
Vendors have returned onto streets where they sell all manner of wares, ranging from vegetables to groceries and second-hand clothes.
Council spokesperson Mr Michael Chideme said previous attempts to remove the vendors had failed.
“We are back to the drawing board. Our strategies in the past have not really worked,” he said, adding: “We are in consultation with key stakeholders which include Government and even the informal sector so that we can come up with a more workable, long-lasting solutions that will guarantee that vendors go to designated sites.”
Some vendors have taken over parking bays along Park Street and Nelson Mandela Avenue.