Zim informal sector rises to 95pc

HARARE - The number of Zimbabweans earning a living from the informal sector rose to 95 percent in 2014 from 84 percent in 2011, a new study by the International Labour Organisation (ILO) has revealed.

The latest statistics, captured in a research titled the “Zimbabwe Assessment Report on the Enabling Environment for Sustainable Enterprises” (EESE), confirms that former president Robert Mugabe’s disastrous economic policies resulted in the closure of many companies and pushed the majority of workers into the informal sector.

This also comes as a recent study by the International Monetary Fund said Zimbabwe has the second largest informal economy as a percentage of its total economy in the world, after Bolivia.

While in some economies the informal sector contributes to gross domestic product, in Zimbabwe the sector’s impact is difficult to measure as its activities are hidden from official authorities for monetary, regulatory, and institutional reasons.

“50,3 percent of survey respondents believed the regulatory environment in Zimbabwe was sometimes a hindrance to running a small business, with 15,2 percent finding it a major obstacle,” the ILO said.

The report, which also incorporates the results of a perceptions survey of Zimbabweans conducted in Harare, Bulawayo, Victoria Falls, Mutare, Midlands and Chitungwiza last year, revealed that the southern African country is still struggling to come up with sound and stable macroeconomic policies.

“High informality, high public debt and weak domestic demand are some negative features of the Zimbabwean economy.

“While attempts have been made to attract foreign direct investment, national macroeconomic policies have acted as deterrents. With 67,5 percent of the population engaged in  agriculture, the failure of the farming sector has had a negative effect on the economy,” read part of the report.

Despite committing to fighting corruption, both petty and grand forms continue to be endemic to political and administrative systems in the country, 55 percent of survey respondents strongly believed that bribery and corruption negatively affected the economy or society in Zimbabwe.

“Zimbabwe’s most pressing challenges in this area include power, transport and water. Forty-nine (49) percent of survey respondents found the roads in Zimbabwe to be very poor and 33,9 percent said they were poor,” the report added.

In an effort to address these challenges, the ILO and the Employers’ Confederation of Zimbabwe (EMCOZ), held a meeting yesterday to launch the Zimbabwe Working initiative.

Several key speakers including Sifelani Jabangwe, the Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries (CZI) president, and Peter Mutasa from the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions addressed the multi-stakeholder discussion that facilitates social dialogue by bringing together policies and practices that will benefit Zimbabwe through an integrated programme of collaboration, discussion, and action.

Comments (1)

"informal sector' Don't you mean 'unemployed persons'?

citizen - 23 November 2018

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