Street vending problems

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STREET vending provides low costs for low income residents and offer employment to thousands of unemployed.

However, this business by its name has no fixed trading area other than the hawker moving up and down a street selling their product.

While it may provide employment to many, it does have many drawbacks.

Street vending pollutes the streets, provides unsanitary food, and hurts the economy of other businesses.

It is also undeniable that street vending negatively impacts the environment; does not contribute to the economy, and is not a stable business. 

So the cries from some salaula vendors at Lusaka’s Soweto market to Lusaka City Council to allow them back on the streets should not be entertained.

One of salaula (used clothes) dealers Ian Mulenga has advised the council that because the merchandise does not litter the surroundings, the local authority should instead subject the vendors to daily or monthly charges after being allowed back on the streets.

That claim is not entirely correct because often times it is the buyers who will come carrying all sorts of merchandise which they will throw carelessly as they sift through heaps of salaula. Do we want that to be happening in our streets?

He has also argued that most salaula vendors have no other source of income but selling clothes which help them to support their families.

Street vendors might think of themselves as entrepreneurs because they have their own business .

But these people are working outside of the legal economy. Apart from that, street vendors do not only cause sanitation and environment health problems.

These people get customers from legal businesses and yet may not even be paying taxes to government. They also do not pay rent for the property they use.

Street vending may be a way to be an entrepreneur, but we shouldn’t forget that street vending is illegal in Zambia.

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