‘Bring back My Friend’
People in the township have been hit the hardest by the closing of spaza shops all around the township following incidents of looting.
The general feeling from local township residents who spoke to Grocott’s Mail was that the immigrant shop owners – often collectively referred to in the community as ‘ My Friend’ – must return to their shops as soon as possible.
Anelise Maarman from Scott’s Farm said its a struggle living without the shopkeepers.
“Even if you want some thing little you have to go and buy it in town. What was done to the guys was absolutely not right,” said Maarman.
“Those people were helping us a lot and even if you were short of money they would give you what you want.”
Rose van Vogue, also from Scott’s Farm, said the shopkeepers should come back to the community.
She said there is no life without them.
“We only depend on one shop here now and it becomes overcrowded because everybody buys there,” Van Vogue said.
“Those guys were trying to make a living with their shops.
Nomaxabiso Bete (left) and right Sive Plaaitjie, in Tantyi, say the shopkeepers who fled last week’s looting have left a huge gap. They are afraid of being mugged, as they’re forced to walk long distances to town to buy basics such as bread. They are among thousands of township residents whose lives have become more difficult since shopkeepers stopped operating in their neighbourhoods last week. Immigrant businesspeople were targeted and forced out of townships in Grahamstown by looting and intimidation.