A NEW flea market will launch in Port Alfred at the krantz braai area this Saturday.
Dubbed the Port Alfred Market, the concept was the brainchild of retired antiques dealer John Champion, and watchmaker Neil Mackenzie and his wife Carrie, who also deal in second hand goods.
“We want to start twice a month and eventually move to weekly,” said Champion. “During season and all the school holidays we will have it on a more regular basis.
“We want to encourage as many people as possible to participate. The more variety there is the more likely we will attract more people.”
Carrie said the goal was to encourage tourism, to have a regular venue, and involve more crafters, traders, car booters and sellers of fresh produce.
“Sedgefield has a market to emulate,” said Neil. “Thousands of people come from all over – George, Knysna and inland too – for that market.”
By locating the market in a highly visible place along the R72, Champion and his partners hope to attract people travelling between East London and Port Elizabeth.
Neil said they also hoped to draw visitors from the other towns in Ndlambe, Grahamstown and Peddie.
“An example is, how many of the people that attend the (National Arts) festival do we attract here? Maybe a few who stay in B&Bs. That’s an untapped market,” said Neil.
Champion approached the municipality about the proposal to use the krantz braai area and on May 24 received written permission from the director of community protection services, Nombulelo Booysen.
Booysen’s conditions were that there be no littering, no permanent infrastructure erected for the market, the general public would have free access, and all traders (food and other) would have to have valid hawker’s licences, obtainable from the municipality.
“We want to be compliant so we’ll all apply for them. They cost R160 per annum,” said Champion.
In addition to the hawker’s licence, each stallholder will be charged R30 a month by the market organisers to go toward any start-up costs.
“Once we’re established, any surplus will be paid over to a charity,” said Champion.
Anyone interested in trading at the Port Alfred Market can contact Neil Mackenzie on (046) 624-5937.