EBONY PARK- Members of the community together with members of the African National Congress (ANC) and it’s alliance partners the South African Communist Party (SACP), Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU) and South African Civic Organization (SANCO) took to the streets today the 30th of January 2020 to express dissatisfaction at Busy Corner Mall.
The protected protest action started at 10am where near the Councilor’s Office at the Ebony Park Revenue Centre (Pay Point) and proceeded via Acasia Street to the recently opened Busy Corner Mall.
The protester’s grievances are job opportunities and business opportunities. The Memorandum of Grievances to the Mall management which KAE News has seen is written under the ‘Region A Business Forum’.
The grievances are mostly to do with Localisation. If a company builds a mall in a specific area, the expectation is for most of the employees hired by that mall to be local people. Furthermore, local SMMEs should be given preference. The community shouldn’t be seen as only consumers.
The Memorandum of Grievance to the Mall Management demands amongst other things:
1. Who are the real owners of the Mall.
2. Affording local business owners leases.
3. Giving preference to local businesses for security, cleaning and maintenance.
4. Providing reasons as to why Mall owners rebuffed the opportunity to participate in consultations with the community.
5. Local contractors that have not been paid to be paid with immediate effect.
6. “When establishing a place of entertainment in a township, it is accepted township business practice not to establish a place of entertainment within 300m of a competing place of entertainment. The mall owners who have established Granite Bar and Lounge within 300m of Imbizo Shisanyama have flagrantly disregarded this township business courtesy. This has to be addressed to the satisfaction of the forum.”
7. Road upgrades and pedestrian walkway to address the community’s needs. “Thousands of children use this route daily to walk to and from school, and the other side of the road is still unpaved. “
The Mall management have been given 7 days to respond to the grievances contained in the Memorandum.
The community has threatened to shutdown the mall if grievances are not addressed. “Failure to respond to these grievances will result in efforts to shut down the mall as the owners will be considered to exhibit signs that they have no intention of serving the majority this community’s economic and social needs but to capture township economy and bulldoze existing township businesses.” reads the Memorandum.
The Mall is currently closed and law enforcement agencies are monitoring the situation.