Harare in vendor fees collection hurdles

HARARE - The Harare City Council (HCC) is facing a number of challenges when it comes to collecting fees from vendors.

According to informal sector committee minutes, despite putting in strategies to maximise revenue collection from the growing sector, the main contributing factors that militated against the efficient and effective revenue collection were lack of enforcement, political interference in the registration and allocation process and general failure by vendors to pay the stipulated market tariffs due to the economic meltdown.

The minutes also noted that director of community services Edmore Nhekairo had put in place strategies to improve revenue collection such as identification of more trading sites.

He was also to withdraw offer letters to vendors’ associations and ensure informal traders paid the fees directly to council and not through the associations.

Nhekairo also had established weekly enforcement blitz on those traders who had been placed at the designated sites as well as introducing payment plans for those who had difficulties in paying the fees.

“A total of $1,143 million had been collected from the informal sector during the period January 1 to September 30 and 20 percent markets retention fund for the same period amounted to $228 600.

The director of community services (Nhekairo) was tasked by the town clerk (Hosea Chisango) to open a bank account where the retention fee would be deposited,” the minutes said.

During a visit earlier to the sites, the Daily News was told by the informal traders that they were being harassed by space barons who were demanding daily fees for a space to sell their wares.

The traders argued that since business was still very slow at the designated sites, they could not afford to make daily payments and would sometimes be forced off the spaces.


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