Lethiwe Makhanya
2 minute read
16 Jul 2022

PMB tavern owners to increase security

Lethiwe Makhanya

Pietermaritzburg tavern owners say they are working on plans to beef up security at their establishments.

The Samkelisiwe tavern in PMB, where the shooting took place on Sunday

Pietermaritzburg tavern owners say they are working on plans to beef up security at their establishments. This follows the shooting that took place at Samkelisiwe Tavern in Sweetwaters last Saturday, which claimed the lives of four people and left eight injured.

Since the incident, tavern owners and patrons have raised their concerns regarding their safety and what can be done to improve security measures. Gui Weng, owner of 2 of Us Tavern in Church Street, said he has armed security guards at his premises, but that does not mean he is not concerned after the Sweetwaters incident.

He said his customers have also raised concerns and asked him about their safety. “I am shaken after this incident, especially because the same thing happened in Soweto. I do not know if we are safe, even though I have security in place. On weekdays I have one security guard and then on weekends I have two armed security guards and bouncers as well.

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“While I am thinking of how I can beef up the security, as a businessman I will have [to see whether] I can afford it because armed security is expensive,” he said. Weng said having police patrolling around taverns would also be helpful and would make it difficult for criminals to operate.

Musawenkosi Khawula, who owns a tavern and a bottle store, yesterday said he was already in the process of adding more security measures at his business. He said everyone will be searched even before they enter the yard and they will only have one gate open as an entrance for the public.

What happened is very painful because we do not know what led to it and we still do not know if these people are going to come to us as well

Khawula said he usually has two security guards, but now he is going to add two more armed security guards to ensure the safety of his patrons and employees. Roy Seoka said he has security measures at his establishment in Edendale and he is glad that nothing bad has happened to them and hopes it stays that way. He said what happened in Sweetwaters is very painful.

Meanwhile, people on social media have been sharing their views regarding the incidents, suggesting that people will now have to wear bulletproof jackets when going to taverns, with some suggesting that owners must stop selling champagne because when they open it, patrons will think the pop is a gunshot.

Siba Ndelebane said on Facebook: “I want to sell bulletproofs [vests] because I know you won’t stop going to taverns.”