Shutdown turns Thohoyandou into ghost town for a day

By Elmon Tshikhudo

With EFF activism rife at the local University of Venda, the town of Thohoyandou was expected to be painted red as a result of the national shutdown.

But the opposite was the case, as the town was deserted during most of Monday. 

On a normal day the town is bustling with shoppers and hawkers selling their goods.

By early morning only a few hawkers had set up shop, but it was them and their stalls alone since no customers dared venture out.

Mbavhi Magidi, who operates a food stall in town, said it was the saddest day in her years of trading in the town.

Magidi was more or less on her own at her stall. She said that most of the hawkers did not even bother coming to town out of fear.


“We have taken a risk of coming here to town amid threats of having our stalls looted by protestors. I have two children to take care of and if I do not work it means they won’t have a plate of food, ” she said. 

That doesn’t mean she disapproves of the EFF’s actions.

“We as hawkers believe EFF members have the right to protest, mostly for a good cause like the cutting of electricity on a daily basis, which is affecting the whole country,” she said. 

She was sad for those losing a day’s wages through no fault of their own. “I think the march was not supposed to be enforced on people who do not subscribe to it,” Magidi said.

“Many who work here in town were told that if they do not report for work, it will mean they are absent and will not get paid for the day.”

Meanwhile, a small group of protestors wearing EFF colours was seen in Thohoyandou with police keeping a close eye on them.

Most businesses were closed in the morning but some opened later on in the day. 

Pictured above: A quiet day in Thohoyandou

Image source: Elmon Tshikhudo 

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