S.Africa: Farmers losing millions of rands in fresh produce due to Joburg Market’s broken cold storage units

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31 January 2024

Gauteng farmers who sell their fresh produce at the Joburg Market are losing millions of rands because the market does not have sufficient cold storage units, and they are not properly functioning.

In addition, the banana ethylene ripening rooms are not fully functional, and traders have now been forced, at huge cost, to purchase their own ripening rooms.

The Democratic Alliance (DA) made this startling discovery during a recent oversight inspection at the market.

During our engagement with the traders, it was revealed that for two weeks in November last year, the market was without power and that this has become almost a daily occurrence. This has created huge losses, especially for the farmers.

The market does compensate farmers and traders for losses, but only for losses of food that was stored in the cold storage units. Any other losses of vegetables or fruit due to ventilation and air condition units not working are not compensated.

One trader has an R6 million claim against the City of Joburg for lost produce and is not sure when or if this will ever be paid out.

The DA proposes that the City of Johannesburg and the Gauteng Department of Agriculture and Rural Development must urgently intervene to ensure that the management of the Joburg Market is adequately equipped with resources and that cold storage is regularly maintained. Furthermore, there is a need to create the technological space for our fresh produce to be marketed and processed with speed and ease.

The DA will be submitting written questions in the Gauteng Provincial Legislature (GPL) to the MEC for Agriculture and Rural Development, Mbali Hlophe, and the MEC for Economic Development, Tasneem Motara, to determine what measures are in place to ensure that the Joburg Market functions properly and when the cold storage will be fixed.

A DA government will act urgently on issues that negatively impact economic growth, jobs and food security in the province.

Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t5YxL0__cKU

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