By Libuseng Nyaka
QWAQWA-When Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal catches sneeze, Maluti-A-Phofung catches a cold. This is precisely how things turned out after the two provinces experienced violent protests which saw businesses looted and burnt down.
Amid this situation, the business fraternity in Maluti-A-Phofung held a meeting on Wednesday which was attended by both Municipality representatives and members of South Africa police service; they raised concern about the situation in Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal provinces, and the fact that the community of Qwaqwa feels its impact already.
One of the local business people already feeling the ripple effects of the disturbances, Clement Mokoena, had this to say: “I couldn’t believe it when I was unable to get an oil pump from Phuthaditjhaba Taxi Motor Spares because they are unable to order parts. They order parts in KZN; as a results of the ongoing mayhem offices are closed and deliveries will be impossible because roads are closed.”
Weighing in, the Convener of Maluti-a-Phofung Business who is also member of the community policing forum, Nelson Moekoa, confirmed the Maluti-A-Phofung Local Municipality, business fraternity and the South Africa Police Service (SAPS), met on Wednesday where they raised their concerns at potential impact of the civil unrest that has engulfed Gauteng and Kwazulu-Natal.
“Yesterday we met with local businesses here to discuss how the movement of produced goods in and out of Maluti-A-Phofung is going to be affected. All businesses are already affected by this. All business is already affected by this, especially the funeral parlours, clothing and grocery retailers. We are unable to transport produced goods in and out of Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal. Funeral parlours are unable transport coffins from Gauteng.
“We have been hit hard by what has occurred. Shortage of petrol, gas, diesel, and paraffin are already experienced in many filling stations. This fuel shortage will unfortunately impact negatively on all households and motorists, especially the taxi industry which provides thousands of commuters with means to go to work and make a living for their families,” said Moekoa.
The municipality and the business community have issued a joint statement urging members of the public to continue to protect and support local businesses and shopping malls.