Port Vila residents without fresh produce as vendors close markets to protest fee hike

Port Vila's main market house: closed until further notice. File photo: Wikimedia Commons

Port Vila’s main market house: closed until further notice. File photo: Wikimedia Commons

It’s a protest which will certainly be noticed. Port Vila’s market vendors have shut down all urban markets in protest against the annual vendor fee going up by Vt 2,000 to Vt 12,000. Even the tiny peri-urban markets such as at the Korman roundabout. The extra fees are intended to finance changes to improve the main market in town for “aesthetic reasons, believing that an attractive market contributes to the city’s national and international image”, reports Daily Post. Owned and operated by Port Vila Municipal Council, the markets are vital to the ongoing welfare of the town. This does not go down very well with Freswota, Anambru and Korman markets – which all contribute to the national health and well-being. It also suggests a lack of consultation with the market vendors by council. Market shoppers with vehicles are okay: they can just leave the city limits and go to Efate Ring Road markets.

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