By Daniel Itai, Harare, Zimbabwe
Zimbabwe’s current nationwide lockdown is seemingly having a huge toll on the country’s informal sector.
According to Anne Watyoka, convenor of the Cross Border and Domestic Traders Association, many in the sector are reeling and bearing the brunt of the current nationwide lockdown.
“Goods and services as well as people can not move freely under the current lockdown conditions. Some who rely on cross border buying and selling have had livelihoods completely destroyed and survival has become very difficult.
Moreover, there is very little we have been able to do to boost the sector or sustain it. Most in the informal economy have had to switch to products like vegetables and fruits as these are accessible on the local market, although returns are low and competition is high,” said the convenor.
She further added that the current COVID-19 test certificates where beyond the reach of many which was further worsening the situation in the sector, “a PCR test in Zimbabwe as required costs US60 which is more than the cost of a bus ticket to Johannesburg from Harare. These requirements are not affordable at all. This requirement will prohibit cross border travellers from travelling.”