Streetnet International East and Southern Africa Focal Point Press Statement on The International Street Vendors Day – 14 November 2017
Today we mark the commemoration of International Vendors day with a lot to reflect on the past one year. The operations of vendors and street traders in East and Southern Africa are still facing many challenges as far as recognition and acceptance is concerned. As a result no much is happening on the formulation of direct policies for the sector by the authorities.
It is estimated that above 70% in East and Southern Africa are employed in the Informal Economy. This shows how critical the street vending and trading has become in economic development in this day and edge. The big and most important issue to respect is how the families are sustained from street vending and trading whilst there is no basic cover for Social Protection for the traders and vendors.
Operational environments are not being much paid attention to and as a result ablution facilities and infrastructure are still poor. The climate change dynamics have also drawn a serious attention to the vendors scope of trading.
It is unfortunate that we still face serious and common challenges of mass criminalisation, harassments, police brutality, victimisation and non-recognition of the value of street traders and vendors. This is the inhuman behaviour we mostly face from our governments in the region.
OUR GREATEST DEMAND REMAINS RECOGNITION AND FORMULATION OF POLICIES BY OUR GOVERNMENTS THAT DECRIMINALISE OUR OPERATIONS IN THE STREETS.
Therefore today we quote the StreetNet International’s President words and say: “ We encourage all street traders and vendors to say let us continue to build unity amongst ourselves, in this struggle for our freedom. Freedom is not free, freedom comes with sacrifice, teamwork and consistent demand until our voice is heard”.
Nothing for us without us!
Touch one Touch all – Unit is Strength!
ZCIEA Office for East and Southern Africa Focal Point Office
14 November 2017