The City of Harare (CoH) says it has set aside land for informal sector traders at various strategic places across town so that they can move from undesignated areas.
In a statement, Council condemned the activities of space barons who are in the habit of renting space to traders and pocketing the proceeds.
CoH said it has realised that the informal sector spaces cannot operate in isolation hence the bold and pragmatic decision to locate new vending spaces at busy places that have other business activities.
”Council is aware of individuals abusing the system to set shops on undesignated spaces. The individuals are collecting money from desperate vendors and pocketing the ‘LOOT’ for personal use. The law will soon catch up with such individuals.” The statement read in part.
Some of the sites to be constructed are said to be provided with banking facilities, bus termini and anchor shops so as to attract huge traffic for the informal sector traders.
The Council said it is the only planning authority that has to plan.
”There is only one planning authority – which is Council. Individuals cannot usurp the power of the council and do arbitrary space allocations.” They said.
The Harare City Council urged members of the informal sector to verify the authenticity and lawfulness of any space allocations in the city in order to protect the informal sector and their investments.
”The years’ long cry for decent trading spaces cannot be achieved when the informal sector is pumping money into the pockets of individuals who have no obligation to re-invest in the development of decent trading spaces.
”Saying NO to corruption should be a collective responsibility by all stakeholders”. The statement further read.
CoH added that is it one of the biggest beneficiaries of a properly functioning informal sector industry.