Collen Murahwa Herald Reporter
Small to Medium Enterprises Development Minister Sithembiso Nyoni has called on local authorities to work together with the ministry and vendors’ associations to develop the sector. Speaking during a tour of the New Gulf Complex along Simon Mazorodze Road yesterday, Minister Nyoni said it was imperative that the local authorities included her ministry in matters to do with SMEs, as it was their mandate to develop the sector.

“I have a mandate to work with local authorities, that is why I came here to understand how you are working and local authorities have to work in a way which complements the ministry,” she said.

“The priority of the economy is not to vend, but to produce products and market them because by just promoting vending, we are promoting a sloppy economy where we end up becoming supermarkets for other countries.”

Minister Nyoni encouraged the city fathers and investors to ensure that rentals for the facility are affordable.

“I don’t want the facility to become a white elephant because of exorbitant rentals,” she said.

“I won’t be happy if this facility accommodates vendors only, but let’s also accommodate small to medium manufacturers.”

City of Harare Head Districts Administrator Informal Sector Development, Mr Fanny Machipisa, said they had already identified sites for manufacturing and home industries.

“We have already identified various places for manufacturing and home industries since this place looks small,” he said.

“It is true minister, we need to balance up since we only have Glen View 8 Complex and Siyaso.”

The national chairman of Grassroots and Empowerment Projects Mr Alexio Mudzengerere accused Harare City Council of encouraging vendors to leave designated vending places.

“The Harare City Council and the mayor are encouraging vendors to leave designated sites and crowd the streets under the auspices that Government promised them jobs, which they are failing to create,” he said.

“The city council is not forthcoming when we try to engage them so that vendors crowded in the city centre are moved to legal vending sites; the whole thing has now become political as if they are getting their orders from Harvest House.”

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