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Informal traders face challenges with council online registration platform

Councillors in Bulawayo have advocated for the issuance of hardcopy vending licence application forms to cater to vendors who are computer illiterate as they struggle to access the documents on online platforms. 

According to the latest council minutes, councillors noted that the advertisement indicated that registration forms would be available at all housing offices but many did not have them. 

“Councillor Sinikiwe Mutanda noted that online registration for vendors had a lot of challenges. Most elderly residents were not computer literate. Hardcopy forms should be availed at all Housing Offices,” read the minutes. 

Councillor Felix Mhaka supported the online distribution of the vending forms as it enables observation of social distancing, but noted that it is important to distribute hard copies. 

“Councillor Concillia Mlalazi observed that residents did not have adequate information regarding vending registration. She sought clarification on those with expired licences,” read part of the minutes.

Bulawayo Vendors and Traders Association (BVTA) director Michael Ndiweni, told CITE that their association was assisting their members who were having difficulties in completing the online registration.  

“Some vendors have limited computer skills so as BVTA we have allocated personnel to assist those facing challenges. In as much as online platforms are effective because of the COVID-19 pandemic, we need to appreciate that the process is cumbersome for some,” Ndiweni said.

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