Hijacked garbage truck used to break through gates at Soweto mall, property group says

Mams Mall in Mamelodi, Pretoria.

Mams Mall in Mamelodi, Pretoria.

Property group Resilient – which owns shopping malls including Mall of the North, Limpopo Mall and Irene Village – has confirmed that two of its 28 shopping centres – Jabulani Mall in Soweto and Mams Mall in Mamelodi – have been damaged in recent riots.

The company said that its centres were typically secured with a double security barrier, which included perimeter security.

On Monday, a garbage truck owned by Pikitup – a waste management service provider to the City of Johannesburg – was hijacked and used to break through the perimeter gates of Jabulani Mall. “An organised mob broke into the mall and the shops were extensively looted. The front door and shopfronts have been damaged.” The mall has since been secured, Resilient said.

At Mams Mall, the perimeter was breached and a number of shops were partially looted before the looters were evicted by the police and and the mall’s private security company. There is limited damage to the mall. “Over the past two days, more than 140 individuals [have been] apprehended,” Resilient said.

Six centres, including those damaged, remain closed. “The board is mindful of the importance of grocery stores situated in the centres providing food for their communities. The four undamaged centres will be opened as soon as possible,” the company said. Resilient owns around half of both malls, along with other stakeholders.

SA Corporate Real Estate Limited said in a notice to shareholders on Tuesday that 11 of its properties had been damaged owing to unrest in KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng.

Affected properties in KwaZulu-Natal include Umlazi Mega City and an adjacent property, Springfield Value Mart, as well as Pine Walk Centre and Davenport Square.

In Gauteng, the affected properties include Hayani, Johannesburg Shopping Centre, Khan Corner, Normandie Court, Queens Court, Springbok and Greatermans.

Tower Property Fund also issued a shareholder notice indicating that its Evagold Shopping Centre in Gauteng had been affected.

“Despite precautionary measures, Tower’s Evagold Shopping Centre in Gauteng has been significantly damaged as a result of being looted and then set on fire.”