Streetwise Informal Traders Association director Percy Mcijo has expressed concern that members of his organisation were operating under harsh economic conditions as a result of the escalating cash crisis, which has made it difficult for them to get clients.

Vendors and informal traders mostly rely on cash customers, but the shortage of cash in the economy was driving them out of business. Some of them have migrated to mobile money transaction to circumvent the problem.

Yesterday, Mcijo said the informal sector workers were a disadvantaged group due to the country’s cashless economy.

“It takes a responsible government to recognise this reality; it’s not a secret that these men and women are finding themselves in an unenabling trading environment where plastic money is the medium of exchange,” Mcijo said.

“The capacity to embrace plastic money transactions in an informal economy is a challenge. As an association we encourage our members at most to use EcoCash transactions if need be while in conjunction with other civic society organisations we demand for cash in the banks. An ailing economy like ours cannot sustain plastic money transactions,” Mcijo said.

He added: “It is a survivalist kind of economy, you need cash in such a situation. The government must address the situation as a matter of urgency.”

Bulawayo has close to 4 000 vendors, some of them crowding the Bulawayo central business district.

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