Navua roadside vendors handed free stalls

Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama with stall owners after the launch of the Roadside Stalls Pilot Project at Vakabalea in Navua on Thursday, May 31, 2018. Picture: JONACANI LALAKOBAU

FIJI’S Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama today handed over six semi-permanent and three portable vendor stalls to roadside vendors in Vakabalea, Navua – free of charge.
The leg-up is part of the Government’s Standardised Roadside Stalls Pilot Project, which was launched this morning aimed to boost small businesses such as the roadside vendors in Navua.
But Mr Bainimarama clarified that while the stalls were free of charge, it would be given under a lease agreement between the vendors and the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Tourism.
“I urge you to read those agreements carefully, and make sure you adhere to the lease conditions,” Mr Bainimarama told the vendors.
“During the pilot phase of this program, we are handing over 20 semi-permanent stalls and 10 portable vendor stalls.
“And this handover is just the beginning of a program we expect to grow every year, reaching more vendors throughout the country, giving them facilities they need to run their businesses well and to operate safely.”
According to Mr Bainimarama, the stalls were made from high-quality materials and were certified by Government engineers to be able to withstand up to category 5 cyclone conditions.
“Because we need to steadily adapt our economy to the reality of climate change, and our vendors, along with every Fijian, deserve infrastructure and assistance that can be relied upon, always, even in times of severe weather,” he said.
Under this pilot program, there are two types of stalls: semi-permanent and portable.
The portable stalls will be given to vendors who only sell produce a few days in a week, and the stalls can be packed and rolled up from the vendors’ homes to the roadside.
The semi-permanent stalls will be set-up in prime locations on the roadside for vendors who sell their produce on a daily basis.
These semi-permanent stalls are basically permanent structures, but they can be removed if there is a road development or in cases of extreme weather.
“What this project really does is take the marketing of your small businesses to an entirely new level; a new look, a new level of reliability, and a new opportunity for all of you to capitalise on and increase your profits as vendors,” Mr Bainimarama added.