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.
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.
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?
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.
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: