Ward 1 Councillor Mlandu Ncube says the Bulawayo City Council (BCC) is targeting some of the bus termini in residential areas to turn into vending bays for traders who have been removed from the central business district.
More than 600 vendors who have been operating from the Fifth Avenue market in the central business district, would be allocated vending spots closest to their places of residence.
This is part of a raft of measures by the local authority to decongest the CBD in light of the outbreak of COVID-19 in the country.
In an interview with CITE, Cllr Ncube said the local authority has already begun the process of moving the affected vendors.
“Vendors associations have raised concerns and are saying our the areas which we have identified are not up to standard but as we speak today, council guys are on the ground trying to address the concerns,” he said.
“Actually 99 percent of the areas where we are relocating our vendors to especially in western areas are shopping areas that already have existing toilets and tap water. We are mostly going to use those old terminuses as vending spaces.”
He said the local authority will put in place policies to ensure that vendors observe the normal trading hours.
Cllr Ncube added that the relocation of vendors comes at a time when the city fathers are trying to eradicate haphazard vending the City and called on the traders to get licenses.
“As a local Authority we must create a conducive environment for everyone, we have a business community that is being affected by haphazard vending, we have no mercy for unlicensed vendors we only care about those who are registered, we encourage everyone to visit our offices and register so that they can be allocated a suitable bay,” he said.
The local authority will also construct public toilets in some of the city`s new suburbs to create a conducive environment for the traders and their customers, the councillor added.
“I know we might have challenges in new suburbs, but the suburb that I know that has such challenge is ward 27 in Pumula South but we are looking into that, we will not have a problem in constructing toilets in Pumula South, that will not take us a month but most areas do have existing facilities so we are taking them there.”
Cllr Ncube said vendors that are operating along Lobengula street are not going to be relocated but the local authority will modify their working spaces in line with the social distancing protocols.