2 May Fresh Produce Market Open Day May 2, 2018 By Tabisa Mntengwana Latest News 0 The Buffalo City Metro Market is pleased to afford its customers an opportunity to explore its fresh produce at the inaugural Market Open Day on Wednesday 3 May. The open day is part of the City’s plan to expose its consumers to better and faster way of buying and getting fresh produce. The market was established in September 1978 with the aim to give locals better produce while giving better services for local vendors. Its annual turnover was approximately R4 million between 1978 and 1979. Currently it has grown to approximately R375 million in the previous financial year and this has resulted in the market rated number four out of 18 national markets.“We pride ourselves with the best and efficient work ethic in the province and that has been proven by our annual turnover and the staff retention,” said the General Manager of the Fresh Produce Market, Gonza Mati. He also added that the market is the best place for local vendors to shop and sell to street walkers especially in the CBD and other areas. The market supplies produce to Buffalo City, Port St Johns, Aliwal North and Port Elizabeth ad other surrounding areas. According to Mati, the market also contributes to informal employment as it supplies produce to hawkers who make 30 percent of buyers. “The hawkers are provided with cold storage facilities to store their produce, cages for excess stock and they also have the advantage of negotiating better prices from market agents.”At the beginning of May, the market will be hosting an open day at Mercator Place, Wilsonia, East London to showcase their produce and give buyers an opportunity to understand how one buys produce at the market.Speaking about the event, Mati said that the event is intended to expose the activities of the market to agricultural communities which include co-operatives and small emerging farmers so that they recognise the market as a platform where agricultural products can be bought and sold. This initiative is in line with the provincial Department of Agriculture Forestry and Fisheries’ Project Rebirth Initiative which was launched in 2015 and aimed to reposition fresh produce markets as a platform for buying and selling quality agricultural products.The event will be attended by guests from the Department of Agriculture Forestry and Fisheries, the Chairperson of the Farmers Association, guests from Fort Cox College, guests from the Department of Rural Development and Agrarian Reform. Related Automotive hub opened The initiative is a partnership between the Metro, Automotive Industry Development Centre (AIDC), Eastern Cape Development Corporation (ECDC), The Jobs Fund and the Provincial Economic Development, Environmental Affairs and Tourism. The incubator is a hub for automotive glass, battery and tyre sales and repairs. According to a press statement issued by the organisers, the incubator is considered to be the first of its kind in the country. “The idea is that after three years of trading the new businesses will stand on their own, with the resources provided to them, now released to assist in the creation of other new businesses.” Speaking at the launch, Executive Mayor Alfred Mtsi said, “Small businesses stimulate private ownership and entrepreneurship skills, which are necessary to create innovative solutions that bring forth better products and services that improve the lives of citizens.” He added that the Metro’s incubation programme is different as it uses a different approach. “What has been created with this project is virtual incubation which is on the job training. That is what sets this programme apart from others.” The programme is set to boost the township economy by training the business owners, provide equipment, finance to run the business and a three year business guidance to all the businesses who are part of the programme. The complex has four businesses which include the tyre fitment and replacement centre, battery fitment centre, glass centre and a kiosk. Yiliwe Ntanjana one of the business owners at the incubator said, “We are truly grateful for such an opportunity to have our own space to work in. For the next three years we will work hard to make sure other thriving businesses have the same opportunity.” Culminating the day Deputy Executive Mayor Xola Pakati said, “As you have been given this opportunity you need to grab it with both hands and make sure you excel in it.” He added that the incubator programme is part of the revitalisation of township economy. “We all know that entrepreneurship and innovation play are a critical ingredient in growing the economy of any city.” Council Open Day The public hearings took place from 14 April until 13 May to communicate the plans of the City and future development to residents and stakeholders for the 2016/17 financial year. The objective of the day was to give feedback on key issues raised from the wards and also reflect on matter raised by the business fraternity and the traditional leaders. Speaking at the Council Open Day, Executive Mayor Alfred Mtsi said, “The priorities for the next finical year are to provide adequate housing for residents, providing clean and safe drinking water and creating various ideas to ensure the City is kept clean.” “The strategic outcomes we have set out as a Metro are to be an innovative and productive, green, connected, well – governed and spatially transformed City.” “Indeed we have made strides in attempting to realise our vision of being a developmental local government,” said Mtsi. Presenting at the council open day Mtsi said, “A total of over 200 000 households in the Metro have access to water and over 90 percent receive the basic minimum requirements.” He also added that the electricity department spent over 90 percent of its R85 million budget on refurbishing, upgrading and enhancing the electrical network throughout the City he also said that over 16 000 indigent people receive free basic electricity since the financial year of 2014/2015. In regards to housing Mtsi said, “Second Creek residents received decent housing with full ownership due to the quality of the housing unit delivered by the Human Settlements Directorate the Metro has also won an award for the best rural housing project.” He also added that as part of the rural development programme many housing opportunities will be provided to many rural communities in the Metro. “It is our mandate to provide basic waste management services to citizens of the City this includes street sweeping, waste and litter collection, refuse removal and sundry solid waste management services,” said Mtsi. Mtsi also mentioned some of the challenges facing the Metro such as illegal dumping, land for central transfer station, community mindset, behaviors and enforcing waste management by-laws. Looking at roads, Mtsi said that currently the Roads Department is operating a ward based project which consist of 500 volunteers, 10 volunteers per ward. “The ward based volunteers will assist with pothole patching and storm water clearing,” said Mtsi. The meeting was attended by various key stakeholders of the IDP such as Councillors, Municipal Officials, Community Development Workers (CDW), Traditional leaders and private sector as well as members of the public were invited to engage and discuss the implementation of the IDP and to discuss the successful projects that have been completed in the Metro thus far. The open day was part of the public hearings before the adoption of the 2016/2017 IDP and budget by Council on 31 May. BCM Council Open Day The purpose of the day was to present the outcomes of the IDP and Budget ward meetings as well as key issues raised by traditional leadership and the business fraternity before it is tabled in Council for adoption. Speaking at the open day, Speaker of Council Alfred Mtsi said, “Our responsibility as municipal councillors is to play a central role in promoting local democracy in the form of ensuring public participation.” “The City has a responsibility to encourage and create conditions for local community to participate in the affairs of the municipality including the preparation, implementation and the review of its IDP.” A summary of the key issues raised during the ward meetings were grouped into three regions of the Metro namely Inland wards, Midland wards and Coastal wards and were presented by the Chief Whip of Council Mzwandile Vaaiboom. Vaaiboom said, “All the issues that have been raised by the people here will be taken to council on May 26 for endorsement.” He added that the Executive Mayor’s State of the Metro Address in June will be informed by the outcomes of everything contained by the IDP. In the Inland Region key issues that were raised included the upgrading of roads, a requests for houses, repairing of damaged RDP houses, upgrading of water pipes, electrification, upgrading of sports facilities and job creation particularly for the youth. The Midland Region sited roads, housing, water and sanitation, refuse removal, electrification, sports and recreation facilities as well as youth development programmes as their key issues. Coastal Region ward issues include additional communal standpipes, clarity on illegal occupation of RDP houses, electrification of new areas, land for new cemeteries, job creation and training for the youth. Delivering his keynote address, Executive Mayor Xola Pakati said, “Today is the culmination of the journey we have undertaken to report and account to all the citizens of the Metro about what we have done and request a further mandate on what more should be done as we continue to be of service to our people.” Pakati also presented the Metro’s medium-term expenditure budget for the 2017/18 financial year in which he painted a picture of the current economic climate in the Metro. He said, “The economic climate is marked by immaterial growth, high unemployment, a small revenue base, aging infrastructure, a low collection rate and cost containment measures.” Community members in attendance were given an opportunity to raise queries that might have been left out during the roadshows to the portfolio heads of the various municipal departments and also asked question of clarity on how the budget will be allocated in the new financial year. Waterworld Complex is open to the public All the pools in the complex have been repainted and refurbished to cater for swimmers during the festive season. Speaking about the re-opening of the complex Programme Manager for Amenities Keshav Panday said, “The pools were closed for maintenance purposes and have been repainted while ablution blocks have been refurbished to cater for the needs of the public.” He added that the pools will be opened between 8am and 6pm everyday. BCMM 2018 Council Open Day The purpose of the day is to present the outcomes of the IDP and Budget ward meetings as well as key issues raised by traditional leadership and the business fraternity before it is tabled in Council for adoption. A summary of the key issues raised during the ward meetings were roads, housing, water and sanitation, refuse removal, electrification, sports and recreation facilities as well as youth development programmes. Community members are invited to attend as they will be given an opportunity to raise queries that might have been left out during the roadshows to the City and also ask questions of clarity on how the budget will be allocated in the upcoming financial year. The Metro hosts 2018 Council Open Day Speaking at the event, Executive Mayor Xola Pakati said, “We believe that this gathering will go a long way in strengthening governance and democracy in our City. This means that the vision, which is mainly contained in the manifesto of the governing party should be visible and that we should be at the stage of actualising its intentions.” The purpose of the day was to present the outcomes of the IDP and Budget roadshows as well as key issues raised by traditional leadership and the business fraternity before it is tabled in Council for adoption. “We are doing this not because of our own goodwill but we are instructed by the people’s Freedom Charter which asserts that; “All bodies of minority rule, advisory boards, councils and authorities shall be replaced by the democratic organs of self-government,” said Pakati He added that the City has always ensured that we engage our communities through the Mayoral Imbizo programme which we held at the close of last year and we have recently completed intensive and fruitful Integrated Development Planning consultations as earlier alluded to. Community members were also part of the gathering as they are given an opportunity to raise queries that might have been left out during the roadshows. “It is important to note that the participation of our communities in our processes is not only limited to the budgeting process. The Council of our metro has an operating Ward Committee Public Participation Framework whose sole intention is to foster direct involvement of residents and local organisations in the decision-making processes of the municipality,” Pakati added. Comments are closed.