Windhoek meat vendors at Single Quarters, officially known as Oshetu Community Market are unhappy about the meat refrigerator that has been broken for over five years despite renovations to the open market in 2020.
The refrigerator container was placed at the market during 2012 but stopped working due to a mechanical breakdown.
Shoopala Asino, a fresh meat vendor at the market told the Windhoek Observer that the refrigerator stopped working shortly after it was placed at the market.
“That meat fridge has been standing there broken for years now, yet we still get it on our accounts. It’s has probably been six years since it broke down. We thought it was going to be replaced the other year they did the so-called renovations to the market. It’s only the fridge for fish that is working,” he said.
The market was renovated in 2020 as part of the City of Windhoek’s plan to ensure informal markets complied with Covid-19 regulations.
The renovations were meant for demolishing, rebuild barbecue stalls, install chimneys, fix cold storage containers for meat, and fix roof leaks.
It was reported last year that the vendors where unhappy about the N$680 000 renovations done at the facility. However, another vendor who sells vegetables and salsa said it seems there were no actual renovations done besides painting.
“I don’t know what renovations they did to this place because they only really painted the market and gave some of us new containers to store our goods,” she said.
During the public meetings held last year in September and October, vendors complained about the malfunctioning of the refrigerator container for storing meat and requested the city to repair it.
According the Consolidated Feedback Report for the public meetings, the city said the type of container installed at market is no longer in production and as such the parts that need to be replaced have since been modified to fit newer models and are not available for this container.
The municipality said it was considering the replacement of the container depending on the availability of funds. Spokesperson of the city, Harold Akwenye said they are waiting for the minister’s budget approval before proceeding with their plans.
“Due to the dinosaur nature of the refrigerators, we couldn’t obtain spare parts for the fridges. We are awaiting budget approval from the minister to plan further.,” he said.