Africa > East Africa > Mozambique > Maputo (Mozambique)

Mozambique: Maputo (Mozambique)

2012/12/05

The Mayor of Maputo, David Simango, meeting on Wednesday with a large number of informal traders, declared that the City Council is not opposed to the informal sector, and that the measures it is taking are merely intended to discipline informal trade so that it does not endanger other interests.

In late February the council gave the informal vendors 48 hours to get off the city's pavements. But the Council soon backpedalled, saying that the intention was only to stop people selling outside schools, hospitals and other sensitive establishments. Simango said he never intended to shut down amount street trading.

On Wednesday, he said the government had no intention of closing the sprawling informal markets known as Estrela, Mandela 1 and 2, and Museu. But the Museu market (so called because it is adjacent to the Natural History Museum) is within a stone's throw of two largest educational establishments - the Maputo Commercial Institute and the Josina Machel Secondary School.

It is difficult to see how the Council can clear informal trade away from the vicinity of schools, from now on allow the stalls and informal bars of the Museu market to continue operating.

Simango repeated his claim that there are over 80,000 informal vendors in the city, and argued that their activity sustains themselves and their families, creates jobs and contributes to economic increase and social stability.

"We are not against the activity of the informal sector, since we know that people are selling on the streets not out of pleasure, but as a question of need for their survival", he said. "But we have to find ways of developing informal trade without creating problems for everybody else".

Among the measures ordered by the Council, he explained, was that vendors in the central among of the city must clean up the streets where they operate twice a day, rather than the previous arrangement of twice a week.

"Now there are areas where products cannot be sold, such as outside schools or hospitals or in front of defence and security institutions", Simango added. "And it's in these places where the owners have been notified to remove their stalls".

He urged the traders to respect municipal by-laws. These national that Maputo markets close at 19.00 and stalls outside the markets at 21.00. Those closing hours must be respected, the Mayor said, and anyone found with a stall open after 21.00 would be penalized.

"The best thing to do about by-laws is to respect them", he said. "Obeying the by-laws is obligatory. If the vendors disagree with the closing time, they should propose an alteration which can be discussed by municipal citizens and then submitted to the Municipal Assembly for approval".

But among the other city by-laws there is one that bans informal trade along several largest Maputo avenues. This by-law is quite disregarded, and currently the municipal police are making no effort to enforce it.

There were bitter complaints at the meeting against the municipal police, who were accused of seizing goods without any explanation of why, and without telling the vendors where their products were being taken.

Simango pointed out that the vendors can recover seized goods - but they have to be quick. The by-laws national that perishable goods are stored for three hours in the municipal warehouse, after which they are delivered to hospitals, orphanages, old people's homes and other social institutions.

Non-perishable goods are kept for eight days, and if the owners do not reclaim them within that time, they are sold at public auction and the proceeds revert to the national. When they reclaim the goods, the vendors, if they have been violating the by-laws governing trade, must pay a fine.

Some vendors complained of extortion and robbery by the municipal police. Simango said the Council condemns theft and policemen who behave in this way risk disciplinary action, and punishments that can include expulsion.

Related Articles
  • Africa's Relationship With China Is Ancient History

    2017/07/02 In 2002 South Africa's Parliament unveiled a digital reproduction of a map - of China, the Middle East and Africa - that some speculated could be the initial map of the African continent. The Da Ming Hun Yi Tu - the Comprehensive Map of the Great Ming Empire - was drawn up around 1389 during the Ming Dynasty, according to historian Hyunhee Park.
  • Africa: Making Things Happen at the Bank - 'Not a Talk Shop' - Akin Adesina

    2017/07/02 Dr. Akinwumi Adesina is focusing on five areas to achieve the African and world goals for a prosperous continent since becoming president of the African Development Bank - Africa's major public financial institution in September 2015. He was a keynote speaker at this month's Corporate Council on Africa's U.S.- Africa Business Summit in Washington D.C. and moderated a lively panel with five African government ministers. He as well received the Gene White Lifetime Succcess Award from the World Child Nutrition Foundation. This week, he was named the 2017 recipient of the World Food Prize, a prestigious honor that includes a $250,000 award. In an interview in Washington, DC, Adesina discussed the Development Bank's ambitious schedule and his vision for attracting the increase capital Africa needs. Posting questions for AllAfrica was Noluthando Crockett-Ntonga.
  • Climate change laws around the world

    2017/05/14 There has been a 20-fold increase in the number of global climate change laws since 1997, according to the most comprehensive database of relevant policy and legislation. The database, produced by the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment and the Sabin Center on Climate Change Law, includes more than 1,200 relevant policies across 164 countries, which account for 95% of global greenhouse gas emissions.
  • Mozambique’s ex-president Joaquim Chissano talks to PM Communications about the country’s major achievements

    2015/09/18 Mozambique’s ex-president Joaquim Chissano talks to PM Communications about the country’s major achievements as it completes its 40th anniversary of independence. He takes the luck to criticize the attitude of Renamo – the major opposition party – as it threatens to return to war for not recognizing the victory of Frelimo in the last elections.
  • The Mozambique banking sector

    2015/07/26 The Mozambique banking sector, which has high increase and good business prospects arising from foreign investment in exploration of natural resources, is attracting the attention of major international banks, according to Eaglestone Securities.