Well-deserved award for Project Rebirth

Last week, I wrote about the 70th birthday celebrations of the Institute of Market Agents of South Africa (Imasa) and predicted that it would be ‘an affair to remember’.

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This it was; attendance records for the AGM and industry sessions were broken, while the gala dinner was spectacular.

At its AGM, Imasa traditionally makes use of the opportunity to recognise an industry role player for the work it has done to improve the industry. This year’s winner of the Shiny Red Apple Award went to the marketing division of the department of agriculture for the tireless work it has put into Project Rebirth for the upliftment of markets.

Through an industry-representative national steering committee headed by Mogala Mamabolo, the marketing division has been driving the project for the past two years and has made impressive strides.

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Over the past few years, the following markets have received financial assistance for infrastructure improvements: Springs (R24 million), Pietermaritzburg (R15 million) and Vereeniging (R5,8 million).

Port Elizabeth, Mathjabeng (Welkom), Matlosana (Klerksdorp), East London and Sol Plaatjie (Kimberley) will soon be receiving funding.

The steering committee also introduced a comprehensive Code of Best Practice (CoBP) for service levels, consignment control, risk and financial management, infrastructure, transformation, food safety and other aspects. Through the CoBP,
the committee is able to set and measure various objectives necessary for the successful functioning of a market.

The CoBp’s impact is already evident in the three markets that received financial injections, with all reporting improved tonnages and turnovers. This is encouraging and should be an incentive for the other markets to push for their improvements.

A superb start
As I’ve said before, Project Rebirth is only the beginning of a long haul. But if the steering committee can navigate the murky waters of bureaucracy, ineptitude and politics, then Project Rebirth will be a dazzling success.

I know most of the people serving on the steering committee and I’m in no doubt that they will succeed. They certainly deserve the Shiny Red Apple Award for their untiring efforts so far.