Some customers see red while others are green with envy
Business in Nelson Mandela Bay has been struck by a rash of post-election blues, leaving some customers seeing red and others green with envy.
The “blues” struck at least three businesses in Port Elizabeth after the local government elections, with one visually prominent Harrower Road store converting its starkly ANC-branded facade to DA blue virtually overnight.
Central’s historic and recently revamped Grand Hotel also showed its colours in the wake of the elections and promptly hoisted a blue DA flag, alongside the South African flag, above the hotel, while Moffett on Main Pre-Owned vehicle dealership placed a large, predominantly blue, congratulatory advert on The Herald’s front page last Friday.
The businesses revealed this week that they were buoyed by the election result and were confident that the change in administration would help boost the local and regional economy and get business back into the black.
All three businesses, however, also reported that their actions had sparked social media debates,“chirps” and some strong opinions from some customers and members of the public.
Grand Hotel owner Mark Stemmett pointed to the hotel’s Facebook page, where the flag has attracted a lively debate.
“I had the same outlook when the ANC came into power. I was positive and motivated and in those years the ANC had some fantastic people in place and the organisation was on the right path,” Stemmett said.
“I support the new administration for the same reasons. The DA has made the right promises and commitments and I, and other businesses, will hold them to that.
“This is all about getting business confidence and business, in general, back on track.”
Stemmett, who also runs an engineering consultancy business, said he was confident the change in administration would uplift the local and regional economy and that business would benefit from an improved administration.
Moffett on Main Pre-Owned owner Gavin Ingram said the change in local government was a positive step for business and the local economy.
“I certainly feel that business will be boosted and uplifted . . .Yes, we had a few chirps about the advert, but we are taking the view that this is an opportunity for all people to work together.”
He said the DA “must now deliver”.
Hassain Mohamed, who runs Friends Cafe in Harrower Road,acknowledged the change in the store’s colour scheme.
“The owner of the building had the colour changed after the elections. Some people like it and some have made remarks,” the Bangladeshi national said.
The owner of the building did not respond to a request for comment yesterday.