Are you in or out?

The industry-related initiative to help improve markets launched by the Institute of Market Agents of SA (IMASA) last year seems to have gained a lot more momentum than expected.

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Project Rebirth seeks to facilitate communication between the management of certain markets and the market agents working there with the objective of upgrading facilities and services. For this initiative to succeed we need extra-large doses of commitment and goodwill from all the role players plus, of course, generous amounts of funding. Until now, IMASA has provided most of those requirements; which is why it’s so pleasing to see other bodies coming forward. I’ve no doubt that, in due course, they’ll be reaching for their cheque books.

Project Rebirth underlines the need for the people at the markets (management and agents) to do something about their own situation. The days of sitting back and blaming everyone else are gone. It’s time for market role players to step forward, acknowledge they actually have the same objectives and then work together to achieve those objectives. Nothing will happen if the market people don’t step forward and say: “Let’s tackle this together”.

Numerous meetings have been held between the IMASA Task Team and a number of markets and it’s encouraging to report that all were very positive. East London Market – now moving towards some concrete results – has become almost the benchmark for Project Rebirth, while the Springs and Vereeniging Markets are following closely behind.

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Despite some recent bad press, Pietermaritzburg Market is also improving. Only a lack of resources – mainly financial – precludes Project Rebirth from being initiated at other markets. Let’s hope this will be resolved sooner rather than later. For those who know the history of antagonism which existed – and still does in some cases – between market management and market agents, this refreshing turn of events bodes well for the future.

“Are you in or out?” A few years ago, that question would have been met with a resounding “Out!”. But today people are counting themselves in!

Contact Mike Cordes at [email protected]. Please state ‘Market floor’ in the subject line of your email.