Municipality Facilitating Increased Informal Sector Opportunities
The Municipal Council of Manzini is making strides in its quest to facilitate increased opportunities within the informal business sector. This is one of the ways through which it contributes to resuscitation of the economy; subsequent to the socio-economic setback inflicted on citizens by the Covid-19 pandemic. This move is also in line with the Municipality’s strategic objective towards stimulation of the city’s socio-economic growth and increasing employment opportunities by 2024. With many citizens having lost jobs and others having lost breadwinners as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, the Municipal Council of Manzini is inundated with applications for vending in the city. The following are some of the informal sector activities that the Municipality is presently rolling out as a means to facilitate an economic lifeline to citizens.
…DAILY FLEA MARKET AT DOBHA PHANSI INTRODUCED
The Municipal Council of Manzini experienced a sharp increase in the number of applications for street vending in the city following the easing of the Covid-19 restrictions. This was largely caused by job losses that had been suffered during the height of the virus in the country and globally. As a means to accommodate the applicants, the Municipality took a decision to introduce a daily second-hand clothing flea market (four days a week) within the Manzini Main Bus Rank; specifically at the site that is popularly referred to as dobha phansi. This arrangement creates an opportunity for at least 50 people who currently do not have trading permits in the city’s informal sector to join the 250 permit-holding traders and generate income through selling second-hand clothing. The flea market opportunity is open to any unemployed citizen as long as they are either Emaswati or are in possession of refugee documents. For one to access this opportunity they are required to register at the Manzini civic offices on Tuesdays, starting at 8am. Registration opens once a week and the first 200 people who register successfully are then grouped into teams of 50; such that one team trades on Wednesday, another on Thursday, another on Friday and the last team on Saturday. Presentation of a valid Eswatini National Identity (ID) card or valid refugee documents is required at registration. The payable fee is E20.
…15 NEW STREET VENDING SPACES ALLOCATED
Owing to an increase in the need to create an enabling environment for citizens to generate income and get back to their normal lives, the Municipality has taken a decision to allocate 15 vending spaces to informal traders along upper Meintjies street, just below Manzini Central High School. The traders have been issued with Council permits and they conduct their trade from Monday to Friday. They sell edibles such as fruits and vegetables.
…MUNICIPALITY SUCCESSFULLY NEGOTIATES VENDING SPACE WITHIN MANZINI LIFESTYLE
The Municipal Council of Manzini has successfully facilitated the creation of a handicraft vending space within one of the newest shopping centres in the City of Manzini, the Manzini Lifestyle Centre. As a result, between five and eight handicraft traders conduct business within the parking lot of the shopping centre every Friday and Saturday, between 1pm and 8pm. The Municipality is grateful to the establishment for agreeing to support the city’s informal business sector. By so doing it is contributing to revival of the economy. The Municipality will be approaching other business establishments for a similar arrangement.
…CITIZENS ENCOURAGED TO ATTEND BIBLE SOCIETY, MANZINI MUNICIPALITY SOCCER TOURNAMENT THIS SATURDAY
…Entry ‘ticket’ is the SiSwati Bible. Vending opportunities are also available
The Municipal Council of Manzini has partnered with the Bible Society of Eswatini towards hosting of this year’s “Bible in the Soccer Field” one-day knockout football tournament. The tournament, which is scheduled for the Mavuso Sports Centre this coming Saturday, starting at 9am, will feature (4) Premier League of Eswatini teams, namely; Manzini Wanderers, Manzini Sundowns, Moneni Pirates and Mbabane Highlanders. The first game will feature Manzini Wanderers against Moneni Pirates whilst the second will feature Manzini Sundowns against Mbabane Highlanders. Citizens of Manzini and surrounding areas, young and old, are, encouraged to come through in their numbers to the Mavuso Sports Centre this Saturday and support their teams as well as enjoy a full day of exciting football and other entertainment activities. Gospel artist Linda Dlamini will also be there to add to the fun. The entry ‘ticket’ to the event is the SiSwati version of the Holy Bible. One of the primary objectives of the event is to promote Bible values in sports (which include respect, love, peace, tolerance, endurance, patience). The Municipality is excited to be the host city and a partner to this community building tournament which seeks to promote good humanity values. The event is also expected to contribute to stimulation of the city’s economy; both the formal and informal business space. A number of soccer lovers will be visiting the city centre before and after the tournament. The business sector is, therefore, urged to gear up for this special Saturday. Moreover, the event avails informal trade opportunities to citizens of the city and surrounding areas. Those interested in vending opportunities during the tournament are encouraged to register with the Municipal Council of Manzini. Registration will end on Friday, 4pm. About 40 vending stalls are available and the payable fees are E50 for shisanyama, E80 for food carts and E20 for fruits, confectionery, candy and handicraft.
…WARDS 3 AND 5 RESIDENTS INVITED TO TOWN PLANNING SCHEME MEETING THIS SUNDAY
The Municipal Council of Manzini is in the process of reviewing the city’s Town Planning Scheme. A Town Planning Scheme is a legal document that regulates the use and development of land within an urban area. It determines, amongst others, provisions such as minimum plot sizes, maximum building height, number of units permitted per plot and permitted land uses. A draft review has been conducted and is ready for presentation to stakeholders. The Municipality has scheduled ward-to-ward stakeholder meetings, targeting both property owners and non-property owners, for purposes of allowing them an opportunity to influence the Town Planning Scheme. The stakeholder meetings have been grouped into precincts (several municipal wards per meeting). A Town Planning Scheme consultative meeting will be held this Sunday at St Paul’s Primary School, starting at 2pm. Residents of Ward 3 (Fairview North, Fairview South and Helemisi) and Ward 5 (Sikhunyana, Ntunja Township and Murray Camp) are invited to the meeting which will run not more than 2 hours. Other meeting dates will be announced in due course.