The Minister of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing, Dr Ignatius Chombo had given the vendors, many of whom are operating in central business districts, up to this Sunday to relocate to designated sites, or face forced removal by the army.
The Minister of Small to Medium Enterprises and Cooperative Development, Cde Sithembiso Nyoni says the extension has been prompted by the need to have a smooth transition to the approved sites.
Cde Nyoni was briefing journalists, vendor unions, Harare City officials and other stakeholders in Harare.
“What the ministry has come up with is a holistic approach to the vendor issue that is going to address the short term, medium term and long term economic plight of the informal sector,” she said.
A road map involving registration of vendors with local authorities, a clean up campaign by vendors, launch of a small to medium enterprises fund and a business park this month was also announced by the Minister.
Harare City Council has so far identified 14 sites where vendors will operate from in a move expected to bring sanity in the capital.
“The points include Fourth Street, Crisp and Seke, the open ground at City Sports Centre, Luna Park, the holding bay and another to be established in the eastern part of Harare. We are geared to ensuring there is proper vending. Other countries have rationalised vending and we too want to follow suit,” said Dr Tendai Mahachi, the Harare Town Clerk.
A local company will provide box parks that have appropriate, affordable, user friendly and environmentally supportive infrastructure.
Illegal vendors have become an eyesore in Gweru, Harare and other towns and fears of a major disease outbreak have been raised as food sold is being prepared under unhygienic conditions.
It is not clear whether the upcoming by-elections has prompted the postponement.