Rivals clash over Walmer contracts

Violence flares between opposing SMME groups as right to work in area contested

SMALL business owners from rival groups in Nelson Mandela Bay exchanged blows yesterday in a heated clash over construction projects in Walmer township.

Threats of more violence have been made as the small, micro and medium enterprises (SMMEs) fight over who has the right to build in Walmer, with each group claiming they are entitled to civil works contracts.

While the Walmer SMME group, led by businessman Luvuyo Popo, said two members from both rival groups were hospitalised after the early morning fight, opposing SMME group leader Mhleli Peter said they had sustained minor injuries and no one had been taken to hospital.

Cases of assault and intimidation were opened at the Walmer Police Station, police spokeswoman Sandra Janse van Rensburg said. She would not give details of what happened.

Things came to a head when Peter’s group marched towards the office of Ward 4 councillor Nomajama Benya to ask why contractors from other wards were being excluded from projects in Walmer township.

-Rochelle de Kock

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