In their ongoing efforts to protect the cultural heritage of their area, Bo-Kaap residents protested outside the new Pick n Pay store in Strand Street shortly after it opened last week.
Residents are angry that the store – located within the boundaries of Bo-Kaap – had been named Pick n Pay De Waterkant.
In a statement released to the media, the Bo-Kaap Civic and Ratepayers’ Association described the naming of the store at 117 Strand Street Building, Bo-Kaap, as “insensitive”.
“It is highly insensitive, and we see it as a violation of our borders. This action is reminiscent of the Apartheid forced removals of the people of Bo-Kaap from the now De Waterkant area, that was part of Bo-Kaap as is evident in the location of the Vos Street Mosque,” they said.
The civic said the residents of Bo-Kaap had been “tireless defenders” of their tradition, heritage and culture and what they call their new borders and the claiming of their name, Bo-Kaap.
“In October 2016, the Minister of Arts and Culture declared our name, Bo-Kaap, and demarcated our borders. Your actions are a clear indication that you have no regard for the people of Bo-Kaap and our living heritage,” they said.
They added that their living heritage include the corner/house shops that adds to their way of life and that gentrification had had a negative impact on the people of Bo-Kaap and their living heritage.
The residents also demanded meaningful employment opportunities for local residents and that the store not be granted a licence to sell alcohol.
Meanwhile, Pick n Pay has agreed to a name change.
Spokesperson, Janine Caradonna, said their new store in Strand Street was designed to serve customers in Bo Kaap, De Waterkant and Green Point, as well as those living on the Atlantic seaboard and in town.
“We were happy to approach the naming of the new store with an open mind and we have agreed to call it our Bo-Kaap store,” she said.