BVTA facilitates licensing of traders

Bulawayo City Council last month made a call to Bulawayo Vendors and Traders Association (BVTA) members to apply for vending licenses at Dugmore offices after years of advocacy for the decentralisation of license offices.

About one hundred and fifty BVTA members have managed to apply for vending licenses at Dugmore offices and are now legal traders. . Over the years, BVTA has been advocating for the decentralisation of the licensing offices after a vast majority of members were failing to attain licenses, leading to ballooning illegal vending and confiscation of goods.

Simbarashe Ndoro, BVTA member and Ward 17 Chairperson was the first to take up the call. Ndoro also mobilised a hundred other BVTA members from Pumula North.  “100 BVTA members from Ward 17 have attained their licenses, I am overjoyed as the licensing process has become a fulfillment of my dream,” Ndoro told The Vendors Voice.

For the past three years, BVTA and its members have been advocating for the decentralisation of licensing offices and transparency in the application procedure and the turnover time it takes to be processed. The organisation has also been advocating for the reduction of the exorbitant license fees, which informal traders have been failing to acquire due to the high fees.

To apply for the licenses the informal traders must bring two colour passport-sized photos, photocopied identity cards, three fingerprint forms, proof of residence and a medical health certificate for those selling fruits and vegetables. The license fee for both new and renewals is US$11.50 and rent is US$5.75 in areas outside the Central Business District (CBD) and US$10 within the CBD.

There has been cases of Municipal police soliciting for bribes from informal traders operating illegally and confiscation of wares due to illegal trading.

BVTA continues to empower and conscientise informal traders on acquiring vending licenses and applauds the council for its efforts on legalising informal traders.

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