These days markets are all about craft beer, overpriced “organic” food, being seen and acting cool. But before hipsters made them the “in-thing”, a market used to be a place to get cheap food and bargains. We found some markets in Jo’burg and Cape Town that have kept to the true heritage and culture of markets.
Riversands Farm Village Market (Jo’burg)
Situated in Fourways, the market offers casual walks, tree-top adventures, accessories, recycled goods and food that will send your taste buds on a trip around the world — from Italy, Greece to India. Most of the fruits and vegetables sold are grown on the farm and reasonably priced. What’s really awesome about this market is that they encourage students to come and sell their stuff to make some extra cash. Oh, did I mention that you can pick your own fruit and make your own healthy shakes and smoothies?
The Adderley Street Flower Market (Cape Town)
Here is a market that can teach trendy hipsters about longevity and staying on trend for decades. The flower market, located in the Cape Town CBD has been around for 150 years, and it’s still going strong. You can choose from exotic blossoms, poppies, proteas and lots of other flowers, as long as they are in-season. The prices are not fixed, so you can always bargain with the flower sellers. Some families have been there for decades as the business is sometimes handed down from grandmother to mother to daughter.
Yeoville Market (Jo’burg)
If you’re looking for an authentically African market experience without leaving Jozi, then head down to Yeoville. You will be greeted by stalls filled with clothes from Ghana to the DRC, to tinned goods from Cape Verde and Mali. You can eat affordable food — from egusi, jollof rice to mopane worms. Your ears will also be tantalised by the sound of fellow Africans speaking “Franglais” (French English), Shona and some Portuguese .If you’re looking for second-hand clothing and underwear, you’re covered too. Most of us are living on a student budget so this place is invitingly affordable and the entrance is free.
Ikasi Experience (Cape Town)
This market celebrates local street culture and the entrepreneurial spirit of South Africans. The event, which is held at the Lookout Hill in Khayelitsha, provides a platform for people to sell goods, exhibit, play soccer and also be entertained by live music. The event takes place every three months in different Cape Town townships. Check out our previous coverage of Ikasi Experience here.
Joburg Fresh Produce Market (Jo’burg)
The Jo’burg Market is the largest fresh produce market in Africa. Anyone looking to buy fresh fruit, vegetables, fish, meat and general groceries at an affordable price can visit the Joburg Market in City Deep. You are guaranteed to get the best in town as they get their produce straight from the suppliers. You can also buy their produce at Mandela Market, Unity Market and Hall 9.
Photography: Eugene Muzinga and Kyle Kheswa