Donkey-drawn scotch carts have become popular in Bulawayo’s western suburbs, with an emerging trend of young entrepreneurs who have lately resorted to using scotch carts to eke out a living.
The scotch carts are used to transport people from one suburb to another, carrying sand, firewood and farm produce among other goods.
In suburbs such as Pumula South, Pelandaba West, Nkulumane, Luveve 5, and Magwegwe, there are several donkey-drawn cart operators.
The practice is however illegal and the scotch cart operators often have to wait for hours for customers as they have to contend with municipal rangers and police.
In areas such as Cowdray Park, scotch cart operators have taken over the business of transporting sand and firewood.
A scotch cart operator, Emmanuel Sibanda, told Chronicle that most of his business revolves around ferrying people between St Peter’s Village and Pumula and surrounding suburbs and also transporting communal farmers’ produce to the market. He said:
In areas such as St Peter’s, residents are now relying on donkey-drawn scotch carts as public transport operators are shunning the route because of poor roads. We are therefore capitalising on that.
Meanwhile, Bulawayo City Council (BCC) officials were adamant that donkeys are not allowed in the city. BCC senior public relations officer Nesisa Mpofu said:
The Bulawayo (Protection of Lands and Natural Resources) by-laws do not allow the keeping of domestic animals on individual properties unless there is authority in terms of the said by-laws, a town planning permission, and Bulawayo (Public Health) by-laws approval. Rangers do attend to reports as they come.
Rangers have issued tickets to the culprits and some animals have been taken to the pound which is at Luveve Gum plantation.
The fine for offenders is $832 and is subject to review at council’s pleasure.