AN audit of the Port Elizabeth Fresh Produce Market uncovered shocking details of a market on the verge of collapse, and which was almost shut down by health inspectors due to "unhealthy and unhygenic conditions".
The audit also found that the Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality had lost out on millions of rands in income from the market due to financial mismanagement.
The audit – commissioned last year by the municipality's economic development, tourism and agriculture department – revealed a complete lack of control over the market's finances, administration and security.
Anele Qaba, the acting head of the department, said fresh food had been kept in cold storage for up to 72 days, posing a health risk to customers and staff, and the floors were so dirty that shoes often got stuck in the grime.
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