The Mayor of Johannesburg Herman Mashaba officially launched the R144 million Joburg People’s Market expansion project. Photo: Supplied

DURBAN - The Mayor of Johannesburg Herman Mashaba officially launched the R144 million Joburg People’s Market expansion project with a sod turning ceremony which will see an additional 28 stalls added to the existing 71 stalls. 

There will also be numerous facility upgrades that will assist entrepreneurial, and therefore, economic growth in Johannesburg.

Present at the sod turning ceremony was the MMC for Economic Development, Councillor Leah Knott, and the Market’s Chief Executive, Ayanda Kanana. The expansion is expected to create 262 jobs during and after construction.

The People’s Market, which totals around R250 million annual purchasing, is an informal satellite market that forms part of the Joburg Market, the largest fresh produce market in South Africa and all of Africa by volume and value. By way of comparison, the Joburg Market is twice the size of the second ranked market in the country and bigger than 17 other local markets.

The Joburg Market, measuring a total of 65 000m2, serves about 5 000 farmers from across South Africa who send their fresh produce to be traded to a larger buyer base, averaging about 10 000 daily.

Critical to the success of this project will be the development and incubation of entrepreneur development. There are a number of opportunities that will be created where the Market can facilitate the capacitation and up-skilling of a number of the tenants, apart from creating new business opportunities.

Further upgrades to the Market include a new taxi rank, a new cold store and generator plant, and upgraded road, electrical, and water infrastructure.

Themba Radebe, The Chairperson of the People's Market said that the reaction from the informal traders ois very positive and they are very happy with the expansion project. Radebe added that the expansion project adds more space to the market that will allow for more traders. 

The upgrades to this critical component of the Joburg Market is a clear demonstration of this multi-party government’s commitment to bring Diphetogo to our residents, and especially our entrepreneurs and small business owners.

This project will therefore also target women and youth when new stalls are allocated and when the entrepreneurship program is implemented.

Our goal is clear; we want Johannesburg’s economy to grow by 5 per cent per year, thereby creating more much-need jobs, especially among the youth. These upgrades are a commitment from the City to support the growth of businesses through implementing and upgrading basic infrastructure.

The project is expected to be completed in 24 months.