The Tshwane metro council approved a turnaround strategy for the Tshwane fresh produce market during a council meeting on Thursday to improve trade and general service delivery at the market.
RNews earlier reported that farmers, agricultural associations and market agents are concerned about the lack of security, poor maintenance, hygiene standards and the effectiveness of market management at the Tshwane fresh produce market.
The market is a prominent trading center for agricultural products and plays an important role in the metro’s economy. With a turnover of approximately R4 billion per year – of which the Tshwane Metro collects 5%, or approximately R20 million per month for the operation of the market – there are numerous questions about why more money is not spent on maintenance.
Peter Meijer, FF Plus councilor in the Tshwane metro, says that after sustained pressure from the party, it was finally decided after 15 months to achieve a turnaround plan for the market.
“This is a big milestone for us; after 20 years of decline, the Tshwane fresh produce market is now back on track.”
However, according to Meijer, several processes need to be followed, which means the turnaround strategy may not be completed as soon as they would like.
“I expect that we will see a big difference at least within the next year.”
Meijer says the strategy involves several things, including the upgrading of infrastructure to ensure a “modern, safe and comfortable environment” for everyone who visits the market.
“The market will be redesigned to promote logistical flow that will facilitate the buying and selling of products.”
An integrated information system will be used to promote transactions and communication between all stakeholders and the market will also play an active role in promoting environmental awareness with the implementation of renewable energy sources, waste recycling and water conservation.
According to Meijer, the FF Plus, as part of the multi-party coalition government, will work with stakeholders such as market agents, farmers, traders and consumers to ensure that the newly designed market meets everyone’s needs.
The party believes that the Tshwane fresh produce market with its new jacket will have a long-lasting effect on the agricultural community and the local economy.
“The turnaround strategy is an indication of the metro’s commitment to promote continuous growth and prosperity and meet the agricultural community’s changing needs,” says Meijer.