Bulawayo Vendors and Traders Association (BVTA) has designed three prototypes of vending stalls for Bulawayo, which have since been submitted to the local authority for consideration.
The models, which provide for more spacious environment, with ablution facilities are for New Magwegwe, Cowdray Park and Emganwini suburbs.
This follows a recent research on the inclusive cities project, the organisation conducted in collaboration with the National University of Science and Technology (NUST).
From the study, BVTA sought to understand patterns and growth of the informal sector in Bulawayo, laws that govern the sector, city planning, designing and other related factors.
BVTA Director, Michael Ndiweni, told journalists at the Bulawayo Press Club recently, his organisation was concerned with the welfare of informal traders whom he said were making a meaningful contribution to the country’s troubled economy.
He said the study revealed that vendors and informal traders, who want to be incorporated into the city planning programmes were unhappy with the smaller vending bays in Bulawayo.
“We have produced three designs and taken these to Bulawayo City Council, for them give their input in terms of what they think when comparing to the stall the city has,” said Ndiweni.
“As far as we are concerned and based on our study, these are the model designs that we think could work for the city.”
Ndiweni said their research concluded that planning and designing in the city was exclusive, as it was done theoratically not practically.
“Usually technocrats, experts, architects, planners, sit in their air-conditioned offices and think on behalf of traders and prescribe what they think is the ideal trading space. For instance they will say a one by one square metre is adequate, without considering other issues such as the harsh weather conditions be it rain, winter and summer.”
The BVTA director made reference to heavy rains that Bulawayo received late last month, which made it impossible for vendors to trade in open spaces.
“Just last week you saw the heavy rains that we experienced in the city and traders could not trade at those one by one square metre stalls,” Ndiweni bemoaned.