HARARE, September 22 (The Source) – Harare city council has registered nearly 5,000 informal traders, including newspaper vendors, in the central business district, after a 30-day blitz as it bids to tap into the capital’s burgeoning underground economy.
The capital has seen an explosion of unregulated commerce in recent years, a trend which has intensified in the past few months when job losses have accelerated as the formal economy flounders.
Unproven claims put the size of Zimbabwe’s informal economy at about $7 billion, roughly half the size of its formal economy.
On Monday, council said it had registered 4,817 vendors and will monitor their activities. Flea market operators will pay $3 daily for trading space while fruit, vegetable, airtime, dried foods and newspaper vendors pay $1, the council said.
“Council is now allocating the registered individuals vending sites and ensuring the unregistered people do not vend,” said the council in a statement.
The city council will also publish the approved suburban vending sites and those who will defy the law will be fined by Harare Metro Police and Zimbabwe Republic Police.
“Each vendor will be allocated a registration number and a vending slot at the designated and convenient vending points in the suburbs,” said city council.
The council has begun a similar exercise at its district offices, which will run for 30 days from Tuesday.