PICTURE: UMNGENI NEWS Two ATM's at a shopping centre in Howick were destroyed by bombers.
PICTURE: UMNGENI NEWS Two ATM's at a shopping centre in Howick were destroyed by bombers.

Howick residents walk kilometres for basic food items

By Kailene Pillay Time of article published Jul 18, 2021

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RESIDENTS living in Howick, a small town outside Pietermaritzburg, have been forced to travel kilometres in search of a store selling groceries after the town’s Spar was looted last week.

The Merrivale Spar was the closest and most convenient food retailer in the area for many families living in Howick.

The Merrivale Spar, in Howick, was looted and destroyed in the last week. Video: Kailene Pillay/ IOL Political Bureau

Andrew Kalika, an elderly man who is only aided by his walking stick, said he had to walk more than 5km to find bread and meat.

He said he managed to buy a tray of sausages and a few other items such as potatoes and other vegetables, but the prices have increased due to the limited stock.

"Its really terrible what happened. This Spar was so close to us and affordable. Now we walk so far to buy a few things and it's expensive. We can't even find bread," Kalika said.

He added that when the attack on local stores began earlier in the week, his children who lived out of town, warned him not to leave home.

"I just stayed inside. My children were worried about us," he said.

Howick resident Andrew Kalika has to walk more than five kilometers, only aided by his walking stick, in search of bread and meat. Video: Kailene Pillay/ IOL Political Bureau

The smaller towns in the Midlands have been hard hit by food shortages after their stores were looted and damaged. Trucks transporting food could not reach them due to the violent unrest in KwaZulu-Natal.

The N3 has since been opened and while some normality has returned on the roads, private security vehicles have been spotted escorting trucks between Durban and Mooi River.

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