UPDATE: This letter was edited and published in The Mercury on Monday 20 July, 2009:
The Warwick Junction precinct and the Early Morning Market in particular, much like the taxi industry in this country, hosts numerous successful black-owned enterprises. In the same way that a BRT without the involvement of the taxi industry will destroy many small black-owned enterprises, so will replacing the EMM with a mall. eThekwini has plenty malls but only one EMM; demolish it and you are not only destroying a historical tribute to black entrepreneurship, but you’ll be actively destroying many such businesses in the process. Instead, Dr Sutcliffe, why can we not rejuvenate and clean up the entire Warwick area with a friendlier, renovated EMM as the “anchor tenant”. I would like to see a smart and bustling Warwick precinct so clean and safe that Greg Arde’s Morningside Madams would happily go shopping there for fresh vegetables, yet still vibrant and distinctly African.
I have little doubt your plans for Warwick were born with good intentions but surely it is possible to pause, consider the significant constructive criticism levelled against the proposal from virtually every quarter involved, and reconsider. And if there’s money left over because there’s no mall, let’s pump that into support those micro-enterprises so they can grow into small businesses.
– Warwick Chapman, Glenwood