Local authorities, which have been destroying vending sites and structures in towns and cities are in the process of preparing alternative workspaces for informal traders according to, City of Harare Mayor Hebert Gomba and Minister of State for Provincial Affairs and Devolution Harare Metropolitan Province, Oliver Chidawu.
The two men of authority acknowledged that the current exercise of destroying what they deem illegal structures indeed affected the livelihoods of residents in Harare.
“To this end, the City of Harare and other local authorities are already in the process of identifying and preparing alternate workspaces for informal traders,” Chidawu said.
“These are expected to be ready for occupation by the expiry of the extended lockdown announced by His Excellence the President Emmerson Mnangagwa on 19 April 2020.”
The Minister said the government and local authorities are not insensitive to the plight of informal traders and fully realise the need to maintain their sources of income.
“In order to allay fears of displacement, safeguard livelihoods and avoid partisanship in the allocation of stalls, we have today agreed that there shall be a Special Allocation Committee to oversee the allocation of officially designated vending stalls and spaces to affected informal traders,” Chidawu said.
“The committee shall be chaired by the Director of Housing and Community Services and shall include members of the Provincial Joint Operation Command (JOC) and a member of my Ministry in addition to other members the Committee members see fit.”
“First preference shall be given to traders who have been affected by the current exercise and government shall endeavour to ensure that no one is prejudiced.”
The City of Harare has been removed the deemed illegal structures in and around the central business district, Mbare, Highfield amongst other areas according to Gomba.
“The overriding objective has been to ensure a clean, orderly and well managed City that ensures optimum revenue collection by local authorities,” he said.