Query: When is the Oshakati Open Market opening to the public and how will the relocation take place?
Response: The Open Market, named after business legend Dr Frans Aupa Indongo, will be officially opened by the Head of State, Dr Hage Geingob on Friday March 11, 2016 at the New Open Market complex behind Etango Complex.
Vendors have already been allocated their stalls and all of them are expected to be operating at the new open market before the opening day. Likewise, long-distance bus operators are also expected to start using the bus terminal by Saturday March 5, 2016. No bag grabbing will be tolerated, as all buses will queue up for proper loading. No buses will be allowed to load at private places.
A committee comprised of vendors has been vested with the responsibility to oversee the relocation process. This will assist Council to identify the current vendors and new vendors.
However, our target is to make sure that all venders currently trading at the open market are catered for before we allocate space to anyone else. The Old Open Market accommodates about 300 vendors, while the new complex has the capacity to accommodate up to 500.
Council pledged to provide transport to vendors with heavy loads throughout the process at no cost. However, the town council will only deliver loads within the boundaries of Oshakati town.
In terms of payments, vendors are allowed to settle in before fees are implemented and will for a time being only pay for water consumption. Fees will be discussed at a later stage. It should, however, be noted that the fees are community-oriented as this is a community project.
The new open market comprises fruit and vegetable stalls, raw meat, kapana stalls, seasonal products, tailoring, arts and crafts and meeting halls. With regards to those who wish to trade at the open market, the council will only allow any registration after the completion of the current relocation process.
Concurrently, the council is busy fencing off the old open market to ensure total safety of the area. The old open market site will be allocated to a serious developer for modern development, as envisioned by the council.
Jackson Muma, public relations officer at Oshakati Town Council, E-mail: JacksonM@oshtc.na