Vusumuzi Dube, Senior Reporter

THE Bulawayo Vendors and Traders Association (BVTA) has called on Government to review upwards the $600 cushioning allowances that were recently issued to vendors as part of the Covid-19 pandemic relief funds.

In a statement, BVTA while acknowledging that its members had received the allowances, said there was a need for the figure to be reviewed upwards considering the challenges that informal traders have faced during COVID-19 induced lockdown.

“As Bulawayo Vendors and Traders Association (BVTA), we acknowledge and welcome the development that has been done by the Ministry of Labour and Social Welfare. Members yesterday confirmed receipt of $600, as part of the government promised cushioning fund.

The amount was disbursed through the One Money Mobile Wallet transfer on NetOne Sim cards that they were given in July, 2020. However, we feel that the money is too little considering the challenges that informal traders have faced during COVID-19 induced lockdown,” reads the statement.

BVTA called for the Government to urgently review the figure so that it can make an impact in the affected lives of vendors and informal traders.

“BVTA is concerned that vendors and informal traders were greatly affected by the lockdown, some lost their capital during the first phase of the lockdown, if the cushioning fund was a reasonable amount, it was going to enable them to restock their wares.

“Schools are opening soon; traders have to pay school fees and look after families at the same time and we think the disbursed money will not enable them to cover their needs,” reads the statement.