Bo Kaap residents are up in arms over the newly unveiled Pick n Pay De Waterkant store, located at 117 Strand Street Building, on the border of the area. The Bo Kaap Civic and Ratepayers Association said the naming of the store located is “highly insensitive”, and they see it as a violation of their borders.
The association believes the name is an affront to the heritage status of the area, which had been fought for many years.
Speaking to VOC on Friday, association chairperson Osman Shabodien said the list of demands include that the name of the store be changed with immediate effect, that meaningful employment opportunities are provided for Bo-Kaap residents, that no alcohol be sold and that the store needs to be “sensitive” to the smaller “traditional shops” in the area.
“The concern is that the name is De Waterkant, yet it’s located in Bo-Kaap,” said chairperson of the Bo-kaap Civic and Ratepayers Association, Osman Shaboodien.
“They’re doing it deliberately to ensure that they can apply for a liquor license. They know if it is in Bo-Kaap, they won’t get it right. We also don’t like the idea that they should steal more of Bo-Kaap like they did before.”
A protest was held by the association this morning at 9am on the corner of Strand and Chiappini Street.
“Their actions are a clear indication that they have no regard for the people of Bo-Kaap and our living heritage. Our living heritage includes the corner/house shops that add to our way of life,” said Shabodien.
Gentrification has had a negative impact on the people of Bo-Kaap…it is shown that the arrival of big retail stores in historical, socially cohesive areas breaks down and affects these small businesses and the communities negatively,” he added.
“This action is reminiscent of the Apartheid forced removals of the people of Bo-Kaap from the now De Waterkant area that was part of Bo-Kaap – as is evident in the location of the Vos Street Mosque.”
Pick n Pay was approached for comment but could not be reached by the time this article was published.