By PHETOLO PHATSIBI
Two small business owners in the CBD expressed solidarity with the recent service delivery protests, saying they are also affected by poor service delivery.
Jacques Artisan Bread and Gino’s Restaurant were among the Makhanda businesses forced to shut down due to the protest.
Anastasia Zacharellis, owner of Gino’s, said the protests were necessary.
“We live here and we are impacted by no water, bad roads, bad infrastructure and a rotten municipality,” Zacharellis said. “I have been a small business owner in this town for 30 years and have watched the place deteriorate.
“Being a small business and just coming out of Covid-19 with no assistance from government or insurance, I’m trying to catch up while trying to keep staff paid, as they have to feed their families.
‘We are required to purchase water because there is none, which impacts my business. I cannot trade without water: we need water to sanitise, wash, clean and cook food. We have to spend additional money to buy water tanks and bottled water to serve the customers because we cannot risk using tap water. The infrastructure is damaged and we have to use money out of our pockets to fix the potholes on the roads,” she said.
Maya Brits, co-owner of Jacques Artisan Bread, said, “The municipality has failed us.”
Brits expressed her support for the protest, but condemned the use of intimidation to force people to participate, and the burning of infrastructure.
“We are in a bad situation. The municipality has let us down. The protest has also let us down in the sense that we were threatened to shut down, but we are very much in agreement with the protest,” she said.