A Critique of the Socio-Economic Impact of the Lockdown Measures on the Informal Sector
a Case of Gwanda Urban in Zimbabwe.
The measures of curbing the COVID-19 pandemic have landed a heavy blow on the informal sector in Zimbabwe. Informal businesses are a crucial factor in the economies of many countries in Africa. The main purpose of this report is to give a critique of the socio-economic impact of the COVID-19 lockdown measures on the informal sector in Gwanda urban in the Matabeleland South region of Zimbabwe. The study was principally qualitative in nature. Purposive sampling was used to select a sample of sixty participants. Telephone interviews and observations were the instruments. The findings were that most informal workplaces in Gwanda urban were still closed because of the lockdowns at the time of this research. The lockdowns reduced the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic but at a cost. The most vulnerable families were exposed to poverty and access to health care was reduced. The majority of residents were struggling to pay rentals, electricity and water bills. The conclusion was that the lockdowns impacted negatively and positively on the informal sector. It was recommended that informal trade should be regulated by departments which deal with commerce and industry whilst a readjustment of national and municipal powers that regulate informal trade is needed.
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