Market Bailiffs have been re-deployed under the Sizimele Market Aggregation Project to monitor compliance in market places in regard to COVID-19 regulations and sensitise people on mitigation strategies to reduce the spread of the virus. Market Bailiffs have also been raising awareness in market places about the Bulawayo City Council Bylaws, these being the laws which govern the informal sector in the city.
Market Bailiffs have reported on improved sanitation levels in different markets in the city from the time they started visiting the markets. They also claim victory for this positive development as they have been visiting markets weekly and stressing to informal traders on the importance of hygiene in the trading spaces as a public health issue. Siphiwe Nkomo a Market Bailiff revealed that at the time when she was doing her visit at the Highlanders Market, the surrounding environment was clean as well as the toilets. Simiselo Ncube echoed the same sentiments as she observed that the 6th Avenue Market is now cleaner than before.
The Market Aggregation Project supported by the Zimbabwe Building Resilience Fund (ZBRF) has given Bailiffs space to capacitate other vendors on the new Bulawayo City Council (BCC) Bylaws. The Bylaws also call for good sanitary standards in market places to prevent the spread of diseases. They are also advising informal traders to use designated trading spaces in order to avoid confrontations with Municipal Police. Sharon Chiwa, a Market Bailiff said that, “A lot of them did not know anything about the Bylaws.” The market visits have been helpful to informal traders as they have managed to capacitate informal traders about the law and their rights.
Informal Traders are advised to renew their vending licences since the vending business year has just commenced and for those who do not have licences, they are advised to apply for them. Bailiffs have been telling informal traders of the requirements when applying for the licences which comprise of two passport-size photos, fingerprints and a medical certificate of health for those who will be selling food. Bailiffs have also been telling informal traders about the revised licencing fees which most informal traders did not know of, with the Central Business District at $23 for licences and $11,50 for monthly rentals and in the residential suburbs licences being $11,50 and monthly rentals $5,75 United States dollars or Zimbabwean Dollars equivalent.
Bailiffs have also gathered that informal traders are calling for the decentralisation of licencing from the Dugmoore Clinic to City Council offices in different wards. Informal traders highlighted that the centralisation of the licensing process makes the licensing process slow and makes them lose a lot of trading hours while they queue for consecutive days.