Last Friday (7 Sep), Senior Minister of State for Environment and Water Resources Amy Khor visited Our Tampines Hub Hawker Centre and praised the social enterprise management model implemented in the newer hawker centres like the one in Tampines.
She said that the social enterprise hawker centre model has only been implemented for three years, and the Government is still learning and evaluating it. "We will continue to evaluate this alternative model, take into account suggestions and feedback on this ongoing process," she said.
She also said that there is a need to “give some leeway to innovation” which can enhance the management of these social enterprise hawker centres.
Overall, she said that Singaporeans have benefited from the social enterprise management model which has brought about a more vibrant hawker scene and improved dining experience.
ST which reported the news also published the following fees incurred by hawkers at Our Tampines Hub Hawker Centre:
- Rent: $3,000
- Centralised dishwashing and cleaning: $1,200
- Rental of cash machine: $100
- GST: $302
NEA: Hawkers in all hawker centres pay ancillary fees
Yesterday (11 Sep), NEA wrote back on ST Forum page clarifying that the $3,000 stall rental fee is not representative of what hawkers pay at Our Tampines Hub Hawker Centre.
"This is not representative of stall rentals at this hawker centre, as only three out of the 42 stalls have a monthly rental of $3,000," NEA said. "Other than one stall with a rental of $1,500, the remaining 38 stalls have a rental of $2,000 each."
In the case of centralised dishwashing and cleaning, NEA noted that hawkers in all hawker centres as well as other food establishments also have such ancillary charges as part of their business operations.
"At our new hawker centres, the managing agents procure such operational services so that stallholders need focus on only their business," NEA said. "Centralised dishwashing has improved cleanliness levels and increased productivity, and stallholders need not purchase their own crockery or hire hawker assistants to wash it."
NEA defended its social enterprise management model saying, "The alternative management model for new hawker centres has brought benefits to both patrons and stallholders, including providing a good and affordable mix of food, operating efficiency and innovative ideas."
Our Tampines Hub Hawker Centre operated by Kopitiam Group
Our Tampines Hub Hawker Centre is actually operated by OTMH, a "social enterprise" unit set up by food court conglomerate Kopitiam Group. It started operating in Nov 2016:
Since there are 42 stalls at Our Tampines Hub Hawker Centre with each stall paying $1,200 per month for centralised dishwashing and cleaning, Kopitiam Group would be receiving $50,400 every month for providing such services to the hawkers.
From Nov 2016 till Aug 2018, it would have received more than $1 million from hawkers for centralised dishwashing and cleaning.
And since OTMH is supposed to be a "non-profit social enterprise", it may be good in the name of transparency that Kopitiam Group gives a more detail account of how the $50,400 is spent every month to provide dishwashing and cleaning services to hawkers.
What do you think?