The proposed registration system of Port Vila’s main marketplace will benefit both the market management and vendors.
The Acting Town Clerk, Michelle Jonas, made this statement after a one-day strike by the vendors against the Vt10, 000 registration fee.
This registration system adheres to the new market by-law of the Port Vila Municipal Council (PVMC), awaiting legal approval.
Many vendors fully supported the change following consultations that started last year in October until recently when they were threaten to go on strike, the Daily Post was told.
Misunderstanding prompt some men to instigate the vendors’ protest against the annual Vt10, 000 fee which all vendors must give to the municipal council under the proposed registration system.
Since its establishment, there had never been any rules and regulations applied at the main market and there is need for improvement, the Acting Town Clerk Jonas stressed.
“The system will free-up the market from congestion,” she said.
“Currently, there is no clear placement of produces. Go to the market and you will see vendors cramping produces to make them fit the limited space. This makes it confusing for the buyers.
“It will do away with produces that are not local like plastic bags, give a fair opportunity for selling where all vendors will be accommodated inside and not on spots outside the market building and would not disadvantaged the vendors.”
Registering in associations enable vendors to capitalize on trainings that will elevate businesses.
“At the end of every year, the council, through its market unit, will give back to the vendors in a form of dividend”, said Jonas.
The Port Vila market has been operating independently from PVMC since 2015 under the council’s new structure to save itself from financial crisis.
As the business arm of the council, the market makes around Vt3million every month.
Through the money collected from the vendors, the market unit has been able to accomplish projects.
The establishment of two markets; one for the Anambourou Ward was opened last year and the other at Seaside for the Southern Ward is near completion. PVMC plans to build markets in all five ward councils.
Last year, the Port Vila market provided a dividend of Vt5million for the council.
PVMC, through its market unit, plans to build another market at Korman to compliment this year’s Pacific mini games.
A market at Ohlen, a vendor’s hostel and a Natai fish market are other plans in the pipeline.
The proposed registration system is expected to be trialed on mid-March this year.