Thursday, 29 September 2011

Swaziland: StreetNet affiliate - collecting vendors' demands for the New Manifesto

The Coalition of the Informal Economy Associations of Swaziland (CIEAS) has begun a consultation process in the main towns of Swaziland in order to collect the demands of the vendors, which will later be compiled into the Swazi Street Vendors' New Manifesto.  The CIEAS President, Bheva Hlophe, reports that the demands are similar throughout the country.  

The main demands include:

(1) Shelter and storage: street vendors selling fruit and vegetables lack shelters to protect themselves and cold storage to preserve their produce. Vendors at the handicraft markets must sleep out in the open and have no place to store their wares. 
(2) Governments rates and other taxes: Vendors pay regular rates to the municipality but must also pay other taxes which seem arbitrary.  The municipality sometimes confiscates goods and fines vendors and then does not return the goods. 
(3) Licenses: the government board responsible for issuing licenses to the vendors needs to operate in a transparent manner because at the moment there are unfair practices.

The consultation process is still continuing.


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