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New Zimbabwe

BULAWAYO vendors Thursday commemorated World Decent Work Day amid calls for the relaxation of vending licensing by-laws.

This year’s celebrations come at a time when the effects of the deadly global Covid-19 pandemic have resulted in entrenched inequality and insecurity among the working population.

“Bulawayo Vendors and Traders Association (BVTA) joins the rest of the world in commemorating the World Decent Work Day. Over the past year, it has been celebrated during the Covid-19 pandemic era, which has aggravated existing blemishes in societies when it comes to decent work, pay, and income,”

BVTA director Michael Ndiweni told NewZimbabwe.com.

“We stand in solidarity with the workers in the informal sector, a sector hardest hit by the effects of this Covid-19 pandemic but have managed to continue with their businesses.”

Ndiweni said as part of ensuring a dignified and decent working environment for informal traders, all stakeholders involved in the issuance of trading permits should be able to do so without any difficulties experienced.

“We applaud and salute informal traders who have made efforts to acquire vending licenses through our efforts and engagement with stakeholders involved in the licensing process. We call for informal traders to apply for licenses as part of ensuring they get a dignified and decent working environment.

“Over time, we have documented cases of informal traders harassment and confiscation of their wares by law enforcement agents, emanating from challenges associated with licensing businesses.

“We implore local authorities across the country to ensure that licensing fees are affordable and accessible.”

The vendors also called for the decentralisation of the licensing process.

“BVTA continues to recognise and advocate for decent work for informal traders through the development of infrastructure and facilitation of the licensing process as we endow,” Ndiweni added.

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