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Insurance packages for informal traders, vendors

Source: Insurance packages for informal traders, vendors | Sunday News (local news)

 Rutendo Nyeve, Sunday News Reporter

THE Bulawayo Vendors and Traders Association (BVTA) has encouraged its members to subscribe to the various insurance packages that have been availed to them in the wake of various risks being encountered in the sector. 

The association’s president, Mr Michael Ndiweni, said they have partnered local insurance companies which are offering three packages which its members can subscribe to depending on what they can afford.

Speaking to Sunday News after the recent disaster which saw a number of traders losing goods worth millions of dollars following an inferno which broke out at Mutize Flea Market, Mr Ndiweni said the insurance packages would help compensate after such incidents.

Mutize market destroyed

“As an organisation we have partnered with companies where we are offering tailored insurance packages for informal traders. They come in three packages with the first one being the lowest premium going for US$5. It covers the fire policy, medical aid as well as hospital cash back plan. In the wake of the recent fires in the city, if the vendors had insured their goods, they could be getting some compensation from the package. The second package costs US$10 while the third which is the gold package is US$15 and it includes motor vehicle insurance,” said Mr Ndiweni.

He said their organisation was working on a number of modalities to ensure informal traders operate in a conducive environment while linking them with various stakeholders. He said one such is the Nkulumane market whose construction is nearing completion.

“In Nkulumane, we are done with major civil works and steel works. Our constructors are doing the final touches. Very soon we may be seeing works being done outside the market, the access roads and the leveling of the ground. We have also started work on developing an operation strategy that is going to determine how we are going to open and manage the market. The stakeholders are still putting in the document but we will be launching as soon as we are done with gathering those inputs, so there will be a validation process thereafter,” said Mr Ndiweni.

Cognisant of the precedence that informal traders usually shun designated markets particularly out of the Central Business District, Mr Ndiweni said they were engaging all stakeholders in Bulawayo so that they own the process and the market. He said most importantly, the market was a fruit and vegetable wholesale market and not necessarily a retail market. 

“We can talk of Umguza, Umzingwane farming areas, Matobo farming area. Currently we are engaging the farmers in those areas through our other complementing project initiative called Market Aggregation Linking Market and Innovation (MALI) project that is seeking to improve access to markets for small holder farmers in the areas that I have mentioned, Umguza, Umzingwane, Matobo and of course Bulawayo metropolitan farmers and those that are farming in the urban areas,” said Mr Ndiweni.

He said products were going to be cheaper because it was a public market.

Bulawayo City Council

“The market is seeking to complement the Bulawayo City Council’s decongestion strategy where they are trying to bring services closer to people and also markets being among those services and products. We saw during Covid-19 that people created new trading hubs, look at Pumula and Nketa, so people are trying to create such hubs in communities in southern areas because we believe that with all stakeholders we are going to be able to achieve the decongestion policy. Honestly if we look at the CBD here it will not be able to carry everyone as the space is finite,” said Mr Ndiweni