Citizen Voices

Construction at Pepper Grove Mall Discontinued?

The corrugated barricades that recently sprang up in the centre of the Pepper Grove Mall, splitting both the parking lot and local opinion down the middle, mysteriously disappeared on Thursday 18 September. Embizweni’s Megan Whittington reports.

ppg 4 real

By 5:30pm on Thursday 18 September, the barricades were down and the site was being cleaned up.

Ever since Pepper Grove’s parking lot was turned into a building site, there has been outrage from those inconvenienced by the construction, combined with rampant speculation about which shops would appear. After hearing rumours of a Mugg & Bean and Wakaberry going up, I went online to ask what franchises Grahamstonians would most like to see in this unorthodox space.

what they want

Less than an hour after my original post, this game-changing comment was made:


I had to check it out for myself, so I jumped in the car and did a casual loop around the parking lot. Lo and behold, the barricades were down, tools were being packed away and the paving was being cleaned up. Did this mean that the construction is over and that we won’t be getting any new shops in Pepper Grove?

ppg 1 ppg 2

Unfortunately, it’s all speculation at this point.

It is not yet clear whether the construction has been stopped or whether complaints made by Pick n Pay’s owners and/or customers have anything to do with the recent development.

I have contacted Pick n Pay for clarification and am monitoring the situation. Meanwhile, people who are drawing their own conclusions about what is happening and sharing their views on social media.


opinions 2 real

After 25 comments and countless ‘likes’ in the space of five hours, the topic seems to have drawn to a close. The traction that my short post generated proves just how important public spaces, such as Pepper Grove, are to the shop-and parking-starved citizens of Grahamstown. For now, we can’t be sure of the fate of the new shops in the mall.

Based on a tally of the responses posted on social media, the pie chart reveals which shops would be most popular additions to Grahamstown’s retail offering:



2 thoughts on “Construction at Pepper Grove Mall Discontinued?

  1. UPDATE: After talking to Pick N Pay, they referred me to their latest comment on their Facebook page which states:

    Pick n Pay applied for and was granted an urgent interim interdict against the Landlord to remove the cordoned off area disrupting the parking area outside our store. We would like to thank our customers for their continued loyal support and patience over this difficult period.
    Prior to the closing-off of the parking area Pick ‘n Pay informed the Landlord that the proposed extension of Peppergrove is to be welcomed and will be beneficial to the complex but cautioned that the layout of the proposed extension would encroach on prime parking spaces and overburden the already pressurized traffic flow in and out of the centre thereby drastically reducing the valuable parking area.
    Pick ‘n Pay suggested to the Landlord that a property acquired by the Landlord and which is immediately adjacent to the existing parking area be used for the development of the new line shops (including the Mugg& Bean) leaving the present parking as it is. We also offered our full support in respect of any land use applications needed by the Landlord for the property to be so used.
    The suggestion was ignored and as a result Pick ‘n Pay had no alternative but to seek the interim protection of the Court when the Landlord without notice started to prepare the parking area for construction.”


  2. Pingback: What is a ‘citizen-first’ blog? | Embizweni

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