Bulawayo Vendors and Traders Association (BVTA) recently conducted a training for vendors and traders in social accountability and advocacy in the border town Beitbridge.
During the training, BVTA explained the responsibilities of vendors in the communities they serve. BVTA also highlighted the rights that vendors have that include the right to working space, right to clean water as well as safe marketplaces.
BVTA also encouraged vendors and informal traders to approach the Council for their licences and permits which would significantly reduce their expenses since they would only be required to make a once-off payment rather than having to pay numerous fines to the city officers for operating illegally.
In the aftermath of the training, the vendors went on to share the information gained with other informal traders. They vowed to put the knowledge gained to good use by obtaining licences and cooperating with the Council as well as fighting for their rights.
Speaking to The Vendors Voice, traders expressed their gratitude for the training facilitated by BVTA. Portia Sithole, an informal trader revealed that she was awakened to her rights and responsibilities as a trader. She also added that the issue of licenses and permits was also addressed and that the vendors’ questions were expertly addressed during the training.
“BVTA informed us about our responsibilities as well as our rights. We were also advised to get permits and licences to regularize our operations,” she said.
Sithole requested BVTA to partner with local traders and help them create a local representative association for vendors and traders. “May BVTA continue to support us so that information gets down to the intended audience. I would like BVTA to work with us towards creating our very own local representative association that has local vendors’ interests at heart,” she said.