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Thursday, July 18, 2024

MSMEs Advisory Council engages informal traders

Story by Yolanda Moyo

THE Government’s move to formalise the micro-small and medium sectors has been welcomed by many who are keen on expanding their businesses while contributing to the growth of the economy.

Having been a vendor since the death of her husband in 1996, Patricia Jamu has seen it all.

From just a vendor on the street to being registered as an informal trader at Egodini, Jamu is a living testimony of the transformation of the sector.
The business has sustained her family, taken her children to school and built a house in the Cowdray Park suburb.

“The journey has been a tough one, imagine all these years selling and being chased away by law enforcement agents. In 2012 I registered as an informal trader at the city council and this has sustained me with my children,” she said.

“However, room for growth has been slow because l could not access loans or become a supplier because l am not registered as a business with the deeds office. As someone in business we cannot remain the same for years we need to grow from the previous stage.”

The formalisation of the sector has excited not only Jamu but other informal traders.

“We are excited by the formalisation and we are keen on growing from where we are. Many times we have tried to access loans and even supply institutions but we have failed.

“I got a call telling me to come and collect my papers today, I have already registered and have a tax clearance. This is a huge step. Many of us did not understand the whole formalisation process but having banks, and government officials explaining to us the benefits of formalisation has made the whole process much easier,” said traders who spoke to the ZBC News.

An advisory council on micro, small and medium enterprises development has been established to educate members on the benefits of formalisation.

“After our appointment as council members, we are now on the ground ensuring that the informal sector is appraised on the advantages of formalizing the sector.

“The sector is huge and formalization will enable the growth of the economy because now the government can collect taxes and people can also be recognized by different entities that are key in the operationalization of the sector,” said Matabeleland region chairperson for the micro-small and medium enterprises development advisory council, Mr Dumisani Ncube.

The government is set to review the Small and Medium Enterprises Act to conform to current developments in the MSME sector.

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