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​Developers have begun the construction of a R3-million exit gate at the Joburg Market in a bid to repair ageing infrastructure and ease mobility at the facility.

The current exit gate on the south-eastern edge of the market was built 45 years ago in 1974. Since then, the Market’s exit way has fallen into disrepair and was in need of urgent attention.

“The structure was no longer protected and tended to portray a terrible image of the organisation,” says Joe Mazibuko, the entity’s Executive Manager for Strategic Projects, Marketing & Communications.

Mazibuko says the Market assessed the structure about three years ago, before setting funds aside to rebuild it.

He says the new exit will be modern and client friendly. It will boast two remote-controlled sliding gates, an entryway for ​forklifts, landscaping, CCTV cameras that are monitored by armed guards and will contain a weighbridge for trucks.

Construction began recently and will take about a quarter of a year to complete. “We will, however, be pushing for the construction to be finalised sooner than that, because operating only with one gate strains our customers,” he explains.

The Joburg Market, in City Deep, measures a total of 65 000m2. Turnover for the last financial year exceeded R7.5 billion. The average value of sales a month exceeds R650 million, with 450 000 sales a month.

The Joburg Market serves about 5 000 farmers from across the country who send their fresh produce to be traded to a larger buyer base, averaging about 10 000 daily. It also boasts 55 cold rooms that accommodate 4 561 pallets of fresh produce and 50 banana-ripening rooms that can handle 1 590 pallets of bananas at any one time.