Hotline: +263 771 400 807

‘Shield the informal sector’ – Zimbabwe Independent

AMH is an independent media house free from political ties or outside influence. We have four newspapers: The Zimbabwe Independent, a business weekly published every Friday, The Standard, a weekly published every Sunday, and Southern and NewsDay, our daily newspapers. Each has an online edition.
PARLIAMENT has decried failure by the country’s statutes to recognise street vendors as entrepreneurs, a situation that has resulted in loss of potential revenue from vending registration fees, hawking licenses and taxes.
This comes as the proportion of women workers in the informal sector exceeds that of men in Zimbabwe.

Chairperson of the Zimbabwe Women Parliamentary Caucus, Goodluck Kwaramba yesterday told delegates attending a breakfast meeting organised by the Economic Justice for Women Project that the informal sector was pivotal for the country’s development.
Statistics show that street vending accounts for 15% to 25% of total informal employment in African cities, contributing 46% to 70% in total trade values for countries such as Benin, Chad, Kenya, Mali, and Tunisia, among others.
“With respect to Zimbabwe, it is estimated that at least $7,4 billion is circulating in the informal economy. This explains why the government has made a deliberate move to formalise vendors’ operations.

“Article 741 of National Development Strategy on gender mainstreaming makes reference to the need to address hurdles relating to women access to finance, land, freehold property, among other things. Article 3.4 of the National, Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises Policy (2020-24) puts emphasis on a number of underlying principles, amongst them formalisation and growth,” Kwaramba said.
She said there was need for policy initiatives that address hurdles that women in the informal sector face and ensure labour laws protect them.
 “In fact, street vendors are viewed as illegal, hence are often harassed by authorities. Recently, the COVID-19 lockdown regulations put a strain on their earnings affecting the incomes of those that depend on it such as young women.”
Estimates reveal a clear relationship between low levels of gross domestic product and high levels of informal employment in respective countries.

 In addition, higher percentages of informal workers than formal workers are from poor households, in developing, emerging and developed countries.
Given that women constitute the majority of the poor, Kwaramba said it was inevitable that they are the majority in the informal sector, although it varied from country to country.
UN Women data shows that in South Asia, over 80% of women in non-agricultural jobs are in informal employment; while in sub-Saharan Africa it is 74% and in Latin America and the Caribbean, 54%.
Subscribe to our newsletter and stay updated on the latest developments and special offers!
&copy2023. The Zimbabwe Independent. All rights reserved.


Leave your thoughts