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Eddie Rakabe | The cost of selling lavish shopping malls to impoverished customers

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SAPS officers stop rioters from looting in central Durban.
SAPS officers stop rioters from looting in central Durban.
AFP

Shopping malls in SA have inserted themselves into marginalised communities that are relatively communal in tradition, but nonetheless maintain an arm’s length relationship with their customers, says Eddie Rakabe.

Thapelo (fictitious name) is a socially aware 13-year-old teenage boy who lives a stone's throw away from the new Tembisa Mall in a recently upgraded informal settlement of Tswelopele section in Tembisa township.

He lives with his single mom in a rented shack, alongside five other shack-based households in a humble stand that was allocated to his uncle during the upgrading process.

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