Trendy market set to put Boksburg North on the map

Boksburg North visionaries: Beric Tempest (front left, CEO of Functions Incorporated.), Ingrid Lombaard (market organiser) and Fanie Liebenberg (marketing and operations executive, Functions Incorporated). Back: Derek Fox (executive committee member, Aerotropolis Chamber of Commmerce and Industry).

An exciting outdoor market concept is coming to Boksburg North next month as part of a concerted effort by local businesses and investors to turn the area into a buzzing tourism hub.

The Aerotropolis Food and Craft Market, which will take place on April 7 in and around Second Street, is only one of many projects a group of business owners have in mind to rejuvenate the suburb.

Beric Tempest, CEO of Functions Incorporated, in Second Street, and his team are passionate about turning the tourism potential of the suburb into reality through emulating trendy Joburg and Cape Town inner-city market precincts.

“We want to salvage Boksburg North. It’s no secret the suburb is plagued by derelict and overcrowded houses, prostitution and drugs, but we believe, with help from the metro and buy-in from the community and businesses, we can turn this picture around.”

Tempest, who has been in the tourism and hospitality industry for 25 years, has already invested in several properties in the vicinity of Second Street.

“Boksburg North has some of the oldest buildings in the country. There is potential to restore these to their former glory as avant-garde shopping and eatery destinations for tourists and locals alike, with a ‘mom and pop’ tenant mix.

“At the moment, most tourists who land at the airport leave Ekurhuleni to eat, shop and explore. They shouldn’t have to.”

  • Pool

The Boksburg North indoor swimming pool is central to the rejuvenation plan this team wants to roll out.

Tempest said the pool could, for example, be upgraded to a high-performance training facility for international athletes, which will be a big boost for sport tourism in Boksburg.

“The pool is underused. In partnership with the metro, we’d like to manage the facility and develop the area around the swimming pool with attractions which will draw visitors and investment on an ongoing basis,” Tempest said.

“The intention is not to take the pool away from the public – quite the contrary, we want to make it better for the community.

“We envision our Aerotropolis Food and Craft Market eventually extending all the way around the swimming pool complex, creating a fantastic vibe in Boksburg North.”

  • Showcase

One of the biggest challenges for positive change in Boksburg North remains the overcrowded and illegally occupied houses.

“To succeed, we have to change the tenant mix in this suburb and get landlords to share in our vision,” Tempest said.

“There is a willingness to be part of this from several sectors, including the metro and the SAPS, and I believe that when we start showcasing the suburb through events like the food and craft market, we’ll get even more buy-in.”

What to expect at the Aerotropolis Food and Craft Market on April 7:

  • Variety of unique food and craft stalls
  • Live radio broadcast
  • Cordoned off streets in and around Second Street
  • Live entertainment
  • Kiddies entertainment
  • Beer garden
  • Water collection for Cape Town
  • Cafe-style tables in the street and on the pavements
  • The market runs from 9am to 3pm
  • In celebration of the launch of the market, no vendor fee will be charged for the day.

For more information about the Aerotropolis Food and Craft Market or to book a stall, contact Ingrid Lombaard on 082 378 1312 or [email protected]


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Lana O’Neill
Assistant Editor

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