Otjiwarongo vendors want public market

24 Mar 2018 10:10am
By Mulisa Simiyasa
OTJIWARONGO, 24 MAR (NAMPA) – Informal traders at Otjiwarongo have blamed their local authority of failing to construct a public market.
Otjiwarongo has nearly 1 000 informal traders known to the municipality.
In an interview with Nampa on Thursday, several of the traders said business is dwindling due to the lack of proper structures to operate from.
As a result, informal traders as well as a lot of street vendors conduct their businesses at different spots around town, mostly the central business district.
“We demand a multi-purpose market. The municipality has deliberately failed to build a market for us,” said trader Kapii Uazukuani.
Uazukuani is committee chairperson of the informal traders at Otjiwarongo, and operates near the Fire Brigade Station in town.
She said her committee had on several occasions discussed the matter with the municipality since 2010, but nothing has been done to date.
Uazukuani said the 20 stalls allocated to her group near the fire brigade are vulnerable to wind, heat and rain.
Another informal trader, Kortilte Hiyolwa said she will soon suspend her rental fee of N.dollars 120 per month to the municipality, allegedly because it is not worth paying it.
“There is no business for me at this place. I depend on my old customers who know me since 2010 while I was operating at the town square mall,” she said.
Hiyolwa said the stalls near the fire brigade are far away from the general customers.
She said a proper public market will improve the situation as all traders will be accommodated in one building and will have equal access to customers.
Hiyolwa blamed the municipality for the increase of street vendors at the town, saying this is because there is no public market and mechanisms that control movement of street vendors or informal traders.
Elsie Kaheka who sells cooked food under a tree, also blamed the municipality for relocating her from a spot where the Otjiwarongo Town Square is now situated.
“At that old place, I made a living off my business,” she said.
Kaheka called on the local authority to look for money and construct a proper market where different types of businesses can operate under law and order.
Otjiwarongo Municipality Public Relations Officer, Adelheid Shilongo briefly told this news agency on Thursday the municipality is aware of the concerns of the traders.
“We always plan to construct a public market, but the lack of funds is the main challenge we are facing,” she said.