18 January 2021
ZCIEA PLEADS WITH THE GOVERNMENT TO URGENTLY PROVIDE CUSHIONING SUPPORT TO THE INFORMAL WORKERS & TRADERS AND GENERAL VULNERABLE GROUPS DURING THIS LOCKDOWN
Zimbabwe Chamber of Informal Economy Associations (ZCIEA) is pleading with the government to urgently give cushioning support to the informal workers and traders as well as other vulnerable groups during this lockdown.
As an organization, we are deeply concerned with the rate of COVID-19 cases which are on the sharp rise in the country whereas the majority of the people survive from informal work activities. In as much as the lockdown measures are restricting as many Informal workers and traders from working, we have seen quite a number going back into their workplaces not because they want to defy government lockdown orders but because they live from hand to mouth trading so they are hunting food for the day. To curb this challenge, we plead with the government to expediently implement the ZW$ 3,5 Billion project announced on the 10th of January 2021 by the Ministry of Public Services, Labour, and Social Welfare so as to quickly address the risk of people going out to trade in these difficult times. We also urge the government to defer rentals and other associated bills for the next two months to allow informal workers and traders to recover in order for them to meet the bills.
We are ready to work collectively and objectively with the government in setting up a social protection scheme for the informal workers and traders which can go a long way in covering a part of crucial moments like these. This will be part of the National Policy Framework for the informal economy which is the formalization agenda under ILO recommendation 204, ILO Convention 190, and other UN instruments such as Sustainable Development Goals. We still continue to propose to the government on mainstreaming the informal economy activities through the following seven thematic areas: theme 1- respect for and recognition of the Informal economy, theme 2- development of linkages between the informal economy and formal business, theme 3 – market access and infrastructure, theme 4 – formalization, theme 5 – financial inclusion, theme 6 – social protection, theme 7 – devolution.