MARKET vendors in Labasa are complaining about the expensive cost of table fees at the market despite its deteriorating condition. There are also claims that vendors are resorting to farming.
Labasa Market vendor president Joseva Sarivi said vendors who operated inside the market paid a fee of $4.30 everyday which was too much.
“Initially we used to pay a fee of $2.10 and since the increase of fees a number of tables in the market are now empty with people choosing to turn back to farming because of the expensive costs of operating stands inside the market,” said Mr Sarivi.
“We barely make a profit and the ones that we manage to make goes to the payment of our tables and other costs including transportation.
“Even though we pay the rates we still suffer from the deteriorating condition of the market which is unhygienic due to dust and water that seeps from the tins during bad weather,” he said.
Another yaqona vendor Tom Valentine said the problem was becoming a serious one.
He said vendors were slowly diminishing from the market, opting to do farming instead.
Mr Valentine said collectively vendors at the Labasa Market approximately contributed more than a thousand dollars to the council coffers everyday but they were unaware where this money was used.
Meanwhile, Labasa and Savusavu special administrator Vijay Chand said the rates were regulated by the government and there was nothing that could be done about it.
“We are aware of the condition of the Labasa Market and plans are underway to renovate the market,” said Mr Chand.