Pietermaritzburg businessman determined to rebuild after looting gutted fresh produce depot
Share this article:
A 25-year-old family-run business that supplied fresh produce to KwaZulu-Natal was destroyed by looters but owner Sanjeev Dukwah is determined to rebuild and continue helping communities.
Dukwah's Fresh Produce depot in Mkondeni was attacked by looters on Tuesday morning.
A trail of destruction had been left behind and the Dukwah family have begun clean-up operations.
“It’s taken me a few days to finally come to terms as to what is happening in our beautiful country.
“After successfully founding my business in the early 90’s and growing it day by day, I found myself and my company victim to the vicious attacks and looting that has been ongoing in our country,” Dukwah said.
His business forms a valuable part of the food chain in the province as they source produce from local farmers and distribute it to retail stores and markets.
“This is crucial as we get food to the end user.”
He said he received a call from his distressed manager on Tuesday morning, at about 6am, who told him that people had got into their pack house facility and began to loot it.
The office block has been burned to the ground, the pack house was completely looted of all fresh produce and packaging and their trucks and vans had been stolen by the looters.
Their vehicles have since been recovered but have been destroyed and stripped.
Dukwah said the looters used the forklifts to smash through the doors and parts of the building.
“It’s been a tough week to say the least.
“I wish government could come to the party and assist businesses like mine who have been severely affected by the looting. Businesses that have been started from the ground up by entrepreneurs like myself, businesses that create a hundred plus jobs like mine and businesses that make the economy turn.
“I am disheartened today but I am confident that together we can all overcome our losses.”