Savalalo market vendors' Fugalei move delayed

Plans to relocate vendors from the Flea Market at Savalalo to a temporary location at Fugalei have been delayed until next month, the market’s manager has confirmed.

Construction work at the new location at Fugalei is still incomplete and according to the Flea Market manager, Alo Neti Tupai, vendors who had expected to move from Savalalo to Fugalei on 24 May will now have to wait until June.

“We were supposed to move on the 24th of this month, but we were advised that there are some small things the construction needs to work on properly in order to complete the job.

“So maybe sometime in June, we will move to our temporary location to wait for the new Flea Market at Sogi.

Alo said letters had already been issued to all vendors and small businesses at Savalalo, informing them of the relocation plans.

“Thirty six vendors and small businesses that have been honest and on time with their block payments, will be the first to get their spots at the new location. Those people who paid out their block’s payments, with no arrears, will come first,” he said.

“We also informed the vendors that providing IDs will be enforced, in order to register a spot at the new location.

He said the IDs that were used for business licences will also be used to register a flea market block.

“The reason is to minimize difficulties and problems, when it comes to chasing people with big arrears who have no identification. The Management also feels that a deposit fee for every block may be useful to lessen the effects overdue payments or arrears.”

Faataualofa Roberts, a flea market stall owner who sells a variety of Samoan products, told the Samoa Observer that they are just going with the flow.

“We have had our block here for almost a year now and the fee is $6 a day. Every day we pay $10 to make sure our payment is ahead and no arrears. We are aware of what is happening, it’s sad but there is nothing we can do, we just go with the flow.”

Another vendor, Vaifale Timmy, said “we were here for two years and this spot is the best of all the spots in the Flea market.”

“We don’t want to leave this area, we want to stay and continue because we have been blessed from this location. The majority of our Samoan pearls and jewelry are from the U.S. and we have some beautiful earrings and necklaces. For the week up to Mother’s Day, we got more than $3000. So we don’t want to leave this place.”

The Manager of the flea market said the most difficult part of their temporary relocation was the space for shops, because Fugalei is a smaller area and there is not enough space to accommodate everyone from Savalalo.

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