The City of Tshwane has appointed a service provider to deep cleanse the Fresh Produce Market where years of filth and grime have become a health hazard. Earlier sources announced that big buyers, including Food Lover’s Market, had stopped buying produce from the market due to the filth and state of disrepair.
Linda Jackson, director at consultancy Food Focus SA, says that although recent research has shown the probability of an outbreak of listeriosis or similar due to the filth to be smaller than expected, the impact in the case of the Tshwane Fresh Produce Market would be huge.
The market is the second biggest of its kind in South Africa. It links farmers from all over the country to consumers in the whole region, including countries like Botswana, Zimbabwe and Zambia.
Recently, the number of workers sweeping the trade floors has been increased and a street-sweeping machine is going through the market daily. Storm water drains have been cleaned, and big waste skips are being emptied daily. Most potholes have been fixed, the lights and generators have been repaired and the grass has been cut.
During a visit to the market this week, Julian van der Nat, speaking on behalf of agents active at the market, showed Moneyweb that conditions in the watermelon section, where the general repairs started, have already improved markedly.
Van der Nat however still expressed his concern about the lack of occupational health and safety measures at the market.