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Informal Sector Formalisation a Cog for Development

The formalisation of the informal sector was viewed as a imperative step in strategising for the development of the sector, tax base, labor management among other developmental imperatives for Zimbabwe.

Stakeholders at a validation workshop for the country’s formalisation strategy in Harare unanimously echoed the important role the strategy had for both government and players in the industry.

The national strategy was viewed as an imperative in setting the intention of addressing the challenges within the market as well the labor market challenges following.

“It is key to highlight the importance of having a well-crafted, evidence based national strategy which in turn will lead to the improvement in fiscal revenue, regularization of employment, reduced decent work deficits, increased social protection coverage, improvement in productivity, and economic growth as the country moves towards the attainment of an upper middle income under Vision 2030.”Chief Director for Labour Administration and Employment Services and promotion in the Ministry of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare Clifford Matorera said.

The strategy which is in sync with other government operational blueprints is set to better inform the labour challenges within the informal sector and pave way for address of challenges.

“Under the NDS1 Strategies for Decent Work, the Government prioritized the development and implementation of a national action plan to address the most pervasive decent work deficits in the informal economy. This is evidenced by the growth in informal economy where over 70% of our labour force is employed according to the 4th quarter 2021, labour force survey report compiled by ZIMSTAT.”

The formalisation strategy was viewed as an imperative in availing revenue streams for government from the informal sector as well as availing order within the sector that could facilitate access to loans, financing as well as training among other benefits.” Clifford Matorera said.

“The informal sector has failed to access loans and other necessary financial benefits owing to the lack of a formalisation strategy and we feel this is a step in the right direction for informal economies potential to grow. On the other hand the move is positive for government which has perennially failed to realise taxes from the informal sector, with the strategy set to redress this.” LEDRIZ Director, Prosper Chitambara said.

The strategy was viewed by development partners as imperative in standardising operations within the sector which made easier for them to streamline projects and programs as informed by the strategy.

“The strategy will further enhance our capacity to easily avail programs and projects in line with the realisations and recommendations on the informal sector by the strategy. We have done this in other countries with success and we envision success in Zimbabwe.” Annamarie K Kiaga, an ILO Specialist in informal sector said.

The strategy was well informed to cater for the aspirations of the informal sector as it encompasses all government department’s and sector representatives as the draft was interrogated and recommendations ushered.

“The involvement of all Government Ministries and informal sector stakeholders will ensure ownership and buy in for the implementation of the strategy document. Let me highlight here the main objectives of this validation workshop:1.interogate the draft mapping report, identifying gaps and proffer solutions, and 2.discuss the draft implementation plan and agree on the way-forward.” Matorera also said.

The strategy is in line with government operational blueprint, National Development Strategy 1, and is key to the achievement of the broad agenda of becoming a upper middle class economy by 2030 as espoused in the Vision 2030 agenda

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