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Joburg Market spells out plans to achieve 5% growth target Print E-mail
13 February 2017
JoburgMarket

The Joburg Market, a City of Johannesburg fresh produce entity, is planning to develop 22 hectares of adjacent land as an agro hub to create socioeconomic opportunities and much-needed jobs.

The move, according to Chief Executive Officer Joe Mazibuko, is one of the market’s responses to Johannesburg Executive Mayor Cllr Herman Mashaba’s call for the City to achieve 5% economic growth by 2021.

The target is contained in the City’s 10-point plan adopted a few weeks after the start of the new administration’s political term of office on 3 August 2016.

Mazibuko announced the initiative during a site visit to the market, situated in City Deep, east of Johannesburg, by Member of the Mayoral Committee for Finance Cllr Rabelani Dagada on Friday February 10.

Mazibuko said the market, the biggest of its kind in Africa, was committed to the 10-point plan in general and growing Johannesburg’s economy in particular.

“We want to utilise the hub as a mechanism to create more employment and socioeconomic opportunities. Through it, we will also be aiming at exporting more products,” Mazibuko said.

In the past financial year, the market, achieved a R6.7-billion turnover, the highest since its establishment in 1887.

“We are targeting R7-billion this year. Our milestone was achieved in December last year when we increased sales. We export 40% of all the produce in the country. [We have] a network of 5 000 farmers out there who are sending their products to us,” he said.

The market employs 4 000 workers and sells millions of tons of fresh produce it receives every year to thousands of buyers. There are also plans of turning the market into a normal retail facility.

“We want to do this as we are currently not capitalising on markets that are surrounding us,” Mazibuko said.

He added, however, that the market would need the City’s Finance Department to assist with the funding of its planned developments.

Cllr Dagada’s visit to the market was part of his planned tour of the City’s entities ahead of his Budget speech in May. The MMC, who is also Chairperson of the City’s Budget Steering Committee, has already visited City Power to familiarise himself with the electricity utility’s capital projects to determine how to assist it when allocating capital and operating expenditure budgets.

“When allocating the budgets for the Joburg Market, we will be looking at urgent-, short-, medium- and long-term plans. And that is how we will classify them because they will help us outline the City’s budget,” Cllr Dagada said.

“It is very important to note that the market is not only functioning as importer and exporter of produce, but it also plays a very important role to small business enterprises out there. Most business entities are also benefiting from the Joburg Market,” he said.

“A sufficient budget will be allocated so the poor can also benefit from it. It is important to ensure that the food bank at the market is utilised. An adequate budget will be allocated to make sure that poor communities benefit.”
He said the market also needed to be accessible to commuters.

“When people can easily make their way the market, then they will easily be able to trade and earn a living as well. That is where the strength of the economy lies,” he added.

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Last Updated on 13 February 2017