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Market vendor raises concern

Torika Tokalau
Friday, May 09, 2014

A MARKET vendor in Laucala Beach is questioning why the Nasinu Town Council is not doing anything to those that sell their produce on the footpaths.

Josefa Vesikara operates from three tables in the market along Nokonoko Rd at Laucala Beach, right opposite the Apostles Gospel Outreach Fellowship International church.

He travels from Vunuku, Rewa daily to sell his produce, which has been the sole source of income for his family for the past four years.

Mr Vesikara says he pays $108 a week to the Nasinu Town Council for the use of the three tables. A situation he faces is competition from other market vendors who sell on the footpath — those who do not pay anything to the council.

"It is really discouraging because we are paying money to sell where we are and these people pay nothing at all to sit in front of us, on the footpath and take away business from us," he said.

"I have complained numerous times to the market masters from the council but all they say is that they can't do anything about it, and then they take my table rent for the week."

Nasinu Town Council special administrator Mosese Kama said selling produce on the footpaths was against the law.

"Selling their produce on the footpath is illegal. It is against the Public Health Act, Food Safety Act and Local Government Act," Mr Kama said.

He said those vendors were also required to pay a fee, but a minimal one.

"The fee that is applied is minimal — only for the collection of rubbish from the vendors."

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