Hwange Local Board (HLB) recently revised traders’ license fees to $5 in response to an outcry by Hwange vendors and traders who complained about the high, prohibitive cost of license fees that were initially pegged at $10.
The development comes in the wake of an Advocacy Training workshop conducted by Bulawayo Vendors and Traders Association (BVTA) in Hwange.
Under the BVTA’s tutelage, Hwange vendors and informal traders were trained on among other skills, advocacy skills that envisage the empowerment of vendors and informal traders in speaking out on issues that affect them.
Having been empowered by the much needed training, the upbeat Hwange informal traders approached the municipality to air their grievances chief of which were the license fees. They successfully managed to have the fees reviewed downwards to $5 from $10.
Most vendors prefer to trade at undesignated places because they cannot afford to pay for licenses. They occupy illegal trading places and this exposes them to harassment from law enforcement officers and harsh environmental conditions.
Vending is a source of employment and income for many people in Zimbabwe because of the harsh economic climate that has seen industries shutting down, leaving many with no choice but to join the vending bandwagon.