Yesterday, the key reason for the Tshwane Fresh Produce Market having to suddenly close from 24 to 26 June, is said to be the failure by the management to implement meaningful and effective COVID-19 protocols.
This was stated by Jaco Oosthuizen, CEO of the RSA Group, which included a market agents division that operated at the market. He said that lost sales value for farmers alone at the country’s second largest fresh produce market would amount to around R28 million during the three days of the shutdown.
Oosthuizen cited the case of COVID-19 that had been reported and resultant temporary shutdown as only the latest in a litany of shortcomings and failures by the market’s management to run the market optimally. “The only communication that we have received about the market having to be closed down for disinfection was an unsigned notice issued on a letterhead of the City of Tshwane’s group human capital management. We have not heard a thing from the market’s management. Yet, 5% of Tshwane Market’s R3,6 billion-a-year sales goes to the market management and the City of Tshwane,” Oosthuizen stated.
He added that despite this R180 million annual income, the market’s management frequently told market-users that there was insufficient money to repair or upgrade the market’s infrastructure, or for sufficient resources to protect market users against COVID-19.