Pick n Pay changes store name after Bo-Kaap backlash

Bo-Kaap residents have been protesting against further development of their area.
Bo-Kaap residents have been protesting against further development of their area.
Image: Esa Alexander

Pick n Pay has agreed to rename a store in Cape Town after Bo-Kaap residents protested that the existing name was “insensitive”.

Residents descended on the store on Friday, demanding it be renamed after their suburb.

They also wanted an undertaking that the store would not sell alcohol. The Bo-Kaap Civic and Ratepayers Association was unhappy that the store, in Strand Street, had been named Pick n Pay De Waterkant.

“We, the Bo-Kaap Civic and Ratepayers Association, have noted with grave concern the insensitive naming of your store located in the 117 Strand Street Building, Bo-Kaap, to Pick n Pay De Waterkant. It is highly insensitive, and we see it as a violation of our borders,” the association said in a statement.

“This action is reminiscent of the apartheid forced removals of the people of Bo-Kaap from the now De Waterkant area, that was part of Bo-Kaap, as is evident in the location of the Vos Street Mosque.”

They demanded an immediate name change, that the store provided meaningful employment opportunities for local residents and that it not sell alcohol. The association said it would stop at nothing to defend its heritage. 

“The people of Bo-Kaap have been tireless defenders of our tradition, heritage and culture, and what we call our new borders and the claiming of our name, Bo-Kaap. In October 2016, the national minister of arts and culture declared our name, Bo-Kaap, and demarcated our borders,” said the association.

“Your actions are a clear indication that you have no regard for the people of Bo-Kaap and our living heritage. Our living heritage includes the corner/house shops that add to our way of life.

“Gentrification has had a negative impact on the people of Bo-Kaap and our living heritage. It is shown that the arrival of the big retail stores ... break down and affect small businesses and the community negatively.”

Pick Pay spokesperson Janine Caradonna said the retail giant had agreed to the name change. 

“Our new store in Strand Street is designed to serve customers in Bo Kaap, De Waterkant and Green Point, as well as those living on the Atlantic Seaboard and in town,” said Caradonna.

“We were happy to approach the naming of the new store with an open mind and we have agreed to call it our Bo-Kaap store.”

Osman Shabodien, spokesperson for the association, said on Monday: “There was a response and we are happy with it. The name was changed almost immediately.”


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