The Rundu Town Council and street vendors have reached a consensus after lengthy discussions were held between both parties following a meeting convened by the governor of the Kavango East region, Bonifatius Wakudumo recently.
This is after the town council decided to evict all unregistered street vendors who traded in the central business district. This decision, however, led to street vendors clashing with police officers and town council officials for about two weeks.
On Tuesday last week, the governor convened an urgent meeting with both parties to find an amicable solution to the matter. According to the governor, the meeting resolved that street vendors will be allowed to trade at designated areas.
“The street traders are to be allowed to trade only at the designated areas as agreed between Rundu Town Council and Street Vendors Committee. These areas are Tuhafeni, Oceano, Gambling, Shiimwa, Lecado, Cuca Tops and Peps Store,” Wakudumo stressed.
The parties also agreed to allocate stalls to the street vendors at the Rundu, Kehemu and Sauyemwa open markets. According to Wakudumo, Rundu open market has 225 vacant spaces while Kehemu and Sauyemwa open markets have 207 and 190 respectively.
The governor further urged the vendors to keep the town clean and adhere to the Covid-19 regulations. Additionally, he requested them to cooperate with the town council’s by-laws.
“The designated areas should be operated in full compliance with Covid-19 regulations, such as wearing of masks, social distance, registering of clients, washing of hands and sanitising,” Wakudumo said.
This new agreement will also see street traders being registered and issued with membership cards. In addition, the vendors will be required to pay a membership and monthly contribution according to the approved tariffs by the town council.
They are also not allowed to erect structures without the authorisation of the town council. Roaming street vendors will not be permitted to operate.
The chairperson of the vendors committee in Rundu, Emilie Frans welcomed the new agreement between the vendors and the town council. Frans also thanked the governor and the Rundu urban constituency councillor for their intervention.
“We welcome this new arrangement with the town council because each one of us will be allocated a stall at the open market. This will now allow us to trade as registered vendors. We are very happy, we have been waiting for a long time,” Frans said.
The governor also donated stationaries to the vendors to record the names of their customers, in line with the Covid-19 regulations. This process will enable health officials to conduct contact tracing should a suspected case be confirmed.