Business owners count their losses after looting in Pinetown, KZN

Mohamed Yousaf, stands in front of the ruins of his 12-year-old business that was looted.
Mohamed Yousaf, stands in front of the ruins of his 12-year-old business that was looted.
Thabiso Goba

Small business owners in Pinetown, whose stores were looted on Monday, fear their businesses might not recover from the impact from what happened. 

“We can't recover,” said Mohamed Yousaf, whose appliance and accessories businesses was looted in its entirety.

After two days of chaos, it was a fairly quiet Tuesday morning in Pinetown largely due to the reality that there were no longer any shops left to loot.

Yousaf, along with his brother, owns a number of shops in Pinetown selling furniture, appliances and other accessories.

All of their shops were looted, said Yousaf.

“I have been here for 12 years, and I have never seen anything like this,” he said.

Yousaf said his one shop had stock worth over R500 000. 

Down the road from Yousaf, is Philip Oberholzei who manages whatever is left of the A5 Cash & Carry store. 

“Everything was carried out, not a single thing left in the store,” said Oberholzei.

Oberholzei was busy fortifying the store with extra protection to protect the infrastructure and said he doesn't know when or if he will ever reopen again.

“We don't know what we going to do or what the company is going to do, it's a really big concern. We had three shops looted,” he said.

Ravi Naidoo's photograph and printing shop was one of a very few shops that somehow remained untouched by the looters.

On Tuesday morning, Naidoo was busy packing away his “quite valuable” equipment in case the looters come back for the store, he said. 

“If it  (his equipment) gets destroyed, I don't know what I will do because I don't have insurance,” said Naidoo.

“It's a photographic business that was already suffering with Level 4 lockdown because there are no longer any functions we can do,” he said.

Other business owners who spoke to The Witness said they were out of ideas about what to do next. 

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