BUSINESS is declining at the Ongwediva Open Market following the ban of alcohol sales there due to COVID-19 restrictions applied at the open market since last year.
Some of the vendors earlier this week said that they are faced with a reduction in customers’ turnout since the town council ordered them to stop selling alcohol at the market.
“We are selling food and customers want to cool off with a glass of beer after having a meal here,” noted the tenants Informante spoke to, whilst demanding the alcohol sales to resume if they are to continue making good business at the market.
The vendors also suggested that rental fees for stalls at the market must also be reduced, now that the business is not going well due to the application of COVID-19 restrictions.
“The sale of alcohol at the open market is a violation of the council regulation, which never permitted the sales of liquor since the inception of the market,” the town council spokesperson, Jackson Muma replied when approached for comment on Thursday.
Although Muma has admitted that the rule of no alcohol sales at the market was enforced only last year, following the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, he said no tenant at the market has a liquor license to deal in alcohol.
He pointed out that the market is exclusively for emerging/small entrepreneurs whose core business on a kiosk level is the sale of fresh and cooked meat, vegetables, fruits, and clothes.
However, Muma indicated that the council will look into their concerns and then engage them through their committee.
Muma stated that the tenants are paying only a monthly fixed amount of N$107 for an open stand, use of water included, and for a lockable kiosk with water is N$464.