Speaking at the opening function the Executive Mayor said the re-emergence of the flea market was a proud moment for Mossel Bay and that she believed that the Goods Shed will once again become a big drawcard.
Alderlady Ferreira said the Mossel Bay Municipality became involved in the re-establishment of a flea market in the historical Goods Shed building as part of a wider strategy to revitalise the old Central Business District of Mossel Bay. She said the area is home to the majority of Mossel Bays historic attractions as well as the harbour and is therefore of major importance to Mossel Bay’s economy in general and the tourism industry in particular.
“We can therefore not allow it to die and decided to develop various strategies to revitalise the area. What a CBD needs to remain prosperous and vibrant is feet and the revival of the Goods Shed flea market is one of the ways that we felt could help to draw more feet back to the CBD.
“Another reason for Council’s involvement in the project was that it can play an important role in local small business development. A flea market is an ideal way for people who want to start a business and who do not have the capital to do so in a shopping centre. It is also a known fact that flea markets are popular because of their relatively informal nature,” said the Mayor.
The Mayor thanked the National Ports Authority, the owner of the building, for making it available to the Municipality at reasonable terms. This enabled the Municipality to pass the benefit on to the stall owners in the building. She said that a good flea market could be a great attraction and warned stall owners that the Municipality will ensure that acceptable standards are maintained at all times.
She thanked Mr Willem Roux, the National Ports Authority manager in Mossel Bay, for his part in realising the project and asked him to convey Council’s thanks to the Board and Management of the National Ports Authority for their continued positive interest in Mossel Bay and willingness to support the town.
Alderlady Ferreira also thanked the Municipal Manager, Dr Michele Gratz, and her team for getting the project off the ground in a very short period of time.
She said it was just over a month ago that the contract between the NPA and the Municipality was signed. That did not leave much time to get the building ready and find tenants. A complicating factor was that many stall owners had already made other plans for the year-end holiday season. The Municipality was, however, confident that it will add more quality stalls to the market in the New Year.