[vc_row][vc_column][vc_custom_heading text=”Projects” font_container=”tag:h2|font_size:28|text_align:left” google_fonts=”font_family:Open%20Sans%3A300%2C300italic%2Cregular%2Citalic%2C600%2C600italic%2C700%2C700italic%2C800%2C800italic|font_style:400%20regular%3A400%3Anormal”][vc_column_text]BVTA has a membership of over 2000 vendors and informal traders in 29 Bulawayo metropolitan wards. In 2016 the association trained over 600 vendors and informal traders on economic and social rights.
BVTA is now also active on social media platforms where frequent updates are posted. News alerts, stories from newspapers, notices about vending and trading and current affairs to keep vendors and informal traders abreast with what is happening in their surroundings. BVTA can be followed on twitter @bvtatrust and Bulawayo Vendors Trust on Facebook.
The social media platforms set up by BVTA have also provided alternative and affordable media as the Office has been able to disseminate contemporary and current news issues in Zimbabwe including important policy pronouncement such as; bond notes, ban on scratch card airtime vending, ban on imports, harassment of vendors and informal traders, portfolio Committee Hearings
BVTA conducts joint awareness campaigns with the Bulawayo City Council who take time to explain to vendors and informal traders’ processes of acquiring vending licences.
The City Council developed By-laws with limited participation of vendors or instead involved those associations whom they perceived to be politically correct and was exclusive to ordinary vendors and informal traders. These By- Laws have been sent to the Ministry of Local Government in Harare for ratification.
Vendors and informal traders have knowledge on Economic and Social Rights, lobbying and advocacy, and are now able to clearly articulate their issues and proffer their solutions. They have actively participated in 2017 BCC budget making process, have demanded that the rates they pay be used to improve their working conditions instead of funding luxurious and extravagant lifestyles of municipal executive officials. Vendors have demanded periodic budget tracking meetings to monitor the use of budgeted funds at local level.
BVTA has created a niche by not only organizing vendors and informal traders but also building their capacity to be able claim their space and be recognised by stakeholders as drivers of change and creating an all-inclusive society.
BVTA has managed to mobilise a majority of women vendors to participate in local decision making processes.
There is an increased number of vendors and informal traders paying their licences to Bulawayo City Council, this is a result of BVTA’s emphasis to members to pay their rates as a strategy to build a strong argument in demanding accountability on the rates paid to the local authority.
BVTA is now recognised by state broadcaster and private radio stations, the organizations has been invited in debates at Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation Spot FM radio and Community radio stations such as Radio Dialogue to debate topical issues of vendors such as impact of road blocks and violent raids on vendors and informal traders.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]