WINDHOEK meat sellers at the popular hot spot known as Single Quarters are unhappy with the NZ$680,000 renovations made to the facility.
Single Quarters, officially known as Oshetu Community Market, were renovated last year as part of the City of Windhoek’s plan to ensure informal markets comply with Covid-19 regulations.
The municipality refused to reveal which company won the tender.
Funds were allocated to demolish and rebuild barbecue booths, install chimneys, repair cold storage containers for meat, and fix roof leaks.
Funds also included paving and replacement of revolving doors for 40 kiosks, and provision of runoff water drainage from vendor names, among other things.
Some sellers said Namibian They are not happy with the renovations and don’t think they cost N$680,000.
The budget was approved in March 2020 and by April of that year at least NZ$101,000 had already been used.
Windhoek Small Business Leader Claudius Kaferua told The Namibian last month that the project had prioritized development work and had been completed.
“The city of Windhoek is happy with the work done in the markets and the modernization that has been implemented has also improved the trading environment there,” he said.
He added that development and renovation works were carried out in 17 markets in the city.
Kaverua said that several maintenance and modernization works have been carried out at Oshetu Community Market since March 2020.
This is aimed at ensuring that the market is ready to reopen after the initial close on March 27, 2020, he said.
Kaferua said the upgrades included fixing all the broken taps, refurbishing two toilet blocks, and opening sewers and a fat trap in the market.
Other work included refurbishing meat-cutting tables, painting open trading areas within the market, defining trading spaces on floors while providing social distancing and creating adequate spaces between pavilions.
“The grill stands have been demolished and rebuilt to enable better smoke routing through the chimneys.”
Kaferua added that the market was completely cleared after the restoration work.
Imms Nghituwa, who sells salsa at the market, said the idea for the renovation was good but it didn’t go well.
“We lost a lot. They chased after us and closed the market to go back to such lousy renovations.”
Ngitwa said customers are still complaining about social distancing. He does not believe the restorations will cost 680,000 Norwegian dollars.
“I don’t think that’s true. They just demarcated the area with paint and put cages for the vendors to store their produce. What else was done? Just nesting on the stoves. More tables needed.”
Niati Jonas, who has been a fresh meat seller for 12 years, said little renovation had been done and some walls had cracks.
“Our meat cutting boards are not strong enough to withstand the blood dripping from the meat. I would not accept it being refurbished for more than NZ$600,000,” Jonas said.
He said this was the first time he had seen the city of Windhoek trying to renovate the market.
“We were happy when we were told it was closed for renovations but when we got back there was very little change. We even had to bring our own tables.
He said they did not return for inspection.
Meanwhile, market dried-goods seller Rosa Shwabala said it appears the place hasn’t been renovated.
If it starts raining, I won’t be able to sell because water is seeping through the roof. Nothing is done here. They set up cages for us but apart from that they put up queues to separate the vendors.”