Soweto residents lead clean-up of Diepkloof Square Mall following looting

At the Diepkloof Square Mall, security officials had returned and owners were assessing the damage.

A screengrab of a looted retail store at the Diepkloof Square Mall on 14 July 2021.

SOWETO - While more residents in Soweto have heeded the call to defend their properties, others are now leading the clean-up following widespread looting on Monday.

At the Diepkloof Square Mall, security officials had returned and owners were assessing the damage.

Diepkloof Square has been like a ghost town and a rubbish dump in one.

From the entrance, shoes, hangers and plastic bags ransacked from the shops fill the parking lot.

But Sanco's Godfrey Tshehlo said that the community was leading the clean-up: “We have partnered with the Square even if we failed to secure or protect the Square but we support people in Diepkloof and our people are going to suffer, so we have asked them to come back quickly so that our people can get bread and pensioners can get medication.”

In some shops, alarms were still sounding.

Smashed glass from shop windows was still on the floor, along with empty boxes where they were thrown and empty shelves.

But some banks had started replacing the ATMs as one contractor explained: “There is not anything left, everything is damaged, you can’t even reuse anything.”

Many of the retail giants and food outlets will probably bounce back but some of the smaller businesses may not.

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