Lily Mine closure is bad for business

2017-02-03 12:36
Safdar Rehman, a Louiville spaza shop owner. (Lerato Sejake, News24)

Safdar Rehman, a Louiville spaza shop owner. (Lerato Sejake, News24)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Barberton – Since the Lily Mine was mothballed, life has been harder for the owner of a spaza shop in nearby Louieville.

“The mine workers were good for business, but since the closure, I have been struggling to make profit. I am starting to eat my own stock,” Safdar Rehman says. 

His black hair is combed back, his beard is greying and his handshake firm. He moved to South Africa from Pakistan in 2009 and opened his shop in 2011. His goal was to start small and open a few more shops in the area. 

“I had a poor life in Pakistan and just wanted to make things better for myself. In South Africa you don’t need a lot of money to survive,” he says. 

He spends R150 on diesel daily commuting from his home in Barberton, about 50km from Louieville. 

There is pride in his voice when he speaks about his Swati wife. 

“Most people stay together [unmarried], but I wanted to do the right thing. I married her and she makes me happy. We are a family.”

He speaks to his customers in siSwati, which his wife taught him. They have no children yet. 

 “The community accepted me with open arms. I never had any problems with anyone. If you make me happy, I will make you happy. There is no crime here.”

He remains hopeful that things will turn around. 

Read more on:    lily mine  |  mbombela  |  lily mine collapse

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.