Siyamtanda Capa
2 minute read
22 Jul 2021
06:28

Pietermaritzburg Fresh Produce Market reopens after unrest

Siyamtanda Capa

The Pietermaritzburg Fresh Produce Market in Mkondeni is now up and running.

The Pietermaritzburg Fresh Produce Market in Mkondeni is now up and running.

The market was forced to cease operations for three days due to the unrest last week.

Market manager Siyabonga Khumalo said they had no option but to close shop after looters tried to break into the market.

Khumalo said the attempt was foiled when their contracted private security company responded promptly.

“We managed to open the market on Thursday. Even though the numbers were low we managed to open,” said Khumalo.

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He said the market had limited stock last week, but this has improved.

“We have stock now. The only item that we didn’t have was potatoes, but by Saturday we were slowly getting stock.”

Khumalo said he was of the view the market had been targeted because of its location.

“We are right next to the traffic department, and they tried to break in through the gate,” said Khumalo.

He added that the market supplied informal traders, shops and other markets.

Ismail Dhoda, who runs the Mini Market in Pietermaritzburg and is supplied by the city’s market, said the past week had been challenging as fresh fruit and vegetables were hard to come by.

“My shop was looted, but fortunately they did not burn the shop. A large amount of stock was looted running into thousands of rand,” said Dhoda.

“If they loot the farms, then what are we going to eat?”
Ismail Dhoda, who runs Mini Market

Last week Dhoda told The Witness the mini market could not supply fresh produce to about 10 hospitals in Pietermaritzburg and Durban due to the unrest.

On Wednesday, he said the situation had improved significantly.

“Things are coming right now; farmers have gone back to work and they are sending the produce to market, and we are getting a reasonable supply of vegetables. People will now be able to eat, and I hope other shops don’t overcharge people because many of them will be unemployed now,” said Dhoda.

He added he was concerned that looters could target the farms.

“If they loot the farms, then what are we going to eat?” said Dhoda.