COVID-19 spur traders’ ingenuity

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Informal traders have embraced opportunities that came with the COVID-19 induced lockdown measures in Bulawayo.

Informal traders say the lockdown has taught them to embrace Information Communication Technologies (ICTs) buy and sell, during the COVID-19 enforced restrictions.

Undisputed attention has been given to the negative impact of the lockdown to vendors and informal traders, as efforts are made to curtail the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Informal traders have not set on their laurels but have rushed to grab the positive effects that come with this new normal.

Vendors now mainly use WhatsApp as a platform to market their products and services and to get in touch with their customers.

Jacqueline Ndlovu, an informal trader told Vendors Voice that she markets her products on the Whatsapp platform and does deliveries whilst putting on her mask.

Operations of informal traders have remained closed since the national lockdown, which started on 30 March to combat the spread of COVID-19. To get round the challenge, the traders have resorted to digital platforms in order to sell their products to be able to earn income.

BVTA has been seized with strategies to bust the impact of the lockdown and encouraging informal traders to be creative and innovative in order to survive under the lockdown and beyond, faced with the new reality in world. BVTA has established production clusters for traders who are like minded i.e. garments, detergents, and food products production and is providing technical expertise to improve the quality of the products and also market linkages.

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