Hwange vendors commend slashing of vending license fees

Hwange Rural District Council recently slashed the vending licence fees, effectively reducing the burden for vendors who are already grappling with a decline in businesses exacerbated by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Vendors have applauded the local authority for slashing vending licenses by 75%, from an RTGS equivalent of 120 usd per year to 30usd per year. This development comes as a relief for the informal traders who fork out rentals that range between 10 usd and 30 usd, depending on the size of the vending stall.

Vendors have commended the local authority’s resolution reached after months of advocating for a reduction of licence fees which were impeding negatively on profit margins, thus affecting livelihoods.

“While we appreciate the reduction of vending licence fees we are struggling to pay rentals on time because of low business,” said Christabel Kajamusuma, one of the vendors at a Hwange Rank Market.

“Business is very low since the banning of intercity travel and for now we are only breaking even,” she added.

Vendors also raised concern over their unlicensed counterparts who sell wares on street pavements and along roadsides, citing that the latter unfairly make huge profits.

“We pay monthly rentals and obtain annual vending permits but there are some unlicensed vendors who operate in profitable areas and make more money than us. We are losing business to these vendors and nothing much is being done to provide a permanent solution to this challenge,” said a vendor who spoke on condition of anonymity.

Unlicensed vendors are frequently raided by law enforcement agents but this has not been a deterrent given the prevailing harsh economic climate characterised by deepening poverty levels.

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