Govt avails funds to construct new vending stalls countrywide

Patrick Chitumba, Midlands Bureau Chief
GOVERNMENT has availed funds to expedite the construction of new vending stalls across the country and grow new businesses during and after the Covid-19 pandemic, a Cabinet Minister has said.

Government has asked local authorities to involve the SMEs and vendors in identifying land for vending stalls.

Addressing the Midlands Covid-19 provincial taskforce in Gweru yesterday, the Minister of Women Affairs, Community and Small and Medium Enterprises Development, Dr Sithembiso Nyoni, said Government had availed funds for the speedy construction of vending infrastructure for the informal sector.

She could, however, not reveal how much has been set aside for this national project meant to address the plight of the informal sector in most cities and towns.

“Our mandate is not to expand informal disorganised businesses but to assist those that are organised and have plans to graduate to the formal sector. We want to engage you and your respective councils so that together we identify suitable land for this project before inviting partners to assist,” she said

Minister Nyoni said the informal sector was supporting many families and therefore deserve support from Government and local authorities.

She said Government wanted the construction of the vending stalls to be speeded up so that people can quickly move in and start fending for their families as has been the case before.

Meanwhile, Minister Nyoni said her ministry was advocating for protection of women and children against Covid -19.

“My ministry has observed with concern that since the commencement of the national lockdown, residents who include women and children from high density suburbs are gathering in large numbers at boreholes to fetch water,” she said.

Minister Nyoni said the threat of contracting Covid-19 was real and there was therefore an urgent need to minimise the risk of contracting or spreading the virus.

She said while the national lockdown was an important intervention measure, it had to be complemented by measures such as social distancing which was not posssible when people gather in large numbers at boreholes.

Minister Nyoni who said it was also important to maintain personal hygiene, donated 100 litres of hand sanitisers to be distributed in Mkoba 14, Mkoba 20, Ascot Infill, Woodlands Phase 1 and Senga Ward 5 in Gweru.

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