‘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.

Photo: Anele Mjekula

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.

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