Small business owners are worried about secondary looting after an already looted shop was set on fire in Durban.
On Saturday, firefighters battled a huge blaze after a shop in Grey Street was set on fire.
“The cause of fire is unknown and the extent of damage is yet to be determined,” said Lindiwe Khuzwayo, eThekwini Municipality’s spokesperson.
Robert McKenzie, KwaZulu-Natal Emergency Medical Service spokesperson said there were no injuries reported in the fire.
Faizal Adams, chairperson of the Durban Street Traders Association, said the commotion from the fire led to nearby stalls being looted.
“Street traders who were selling near the building had their stock looted in the chaos by some vagrants,” he said.
“There have been fires popping up in Durban from stores that have already been looted so we suspect the fires are being used as a distraction to loot the remaining stores.”
Adams said street traders were not largely affected by the looting as big businesses were the primary targets.
Adams said street traders are slowly making their way back into the city.
“The looting has killed us. Business is slow because there are hardly any people in town, plus there is also the issue of safety, many traders don’t feel it is safe yet to go back,” he said.
On Friday, shortly after President Cyril Ramaphosa’s visit to Durban, a building on Joe Slovo Street was torched.
A heavy police presence and armoured military vehicles have been spotted patrolling the city centre recently.