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Flattening a community
08 Feb 2012

FACE off: what a great idea for stimulating debate about controversial issues such as the development of Mills Circle (The Witness, February 3). The developer of the proposed SuperSpar, Nick Christodolou, strikes me as a bully, flattening a small established community in order to build another supermarket.

Who gains? Clearly Christodolou predicts substantial financial gain for himself. And who loses? The residents of the area with destruction of homes and a safe, supportive community.

Christodolou seems to suggest that the residents are denying jobs. Building workers will have another short contract to work on minimum wages. There will be new jobs in the shopping centre, but no more shoppers. If the SuperSpar is successful, there will be a shift of shoppers away from adjacent businesses, leaving an empty mall, shop closures and job losses.

Christodolou suggests that residents’ objections are trivial as they have not instituted legal procedures. However, this is an expensive, risky process and probably beyond the means of residents. While Christodolou may consider legal defence to be an annoying but necessary cost in order to achieve greater wealth, it is entirely unfair that residents should have to pay out potentially large sums of money simply to retain their homes in a small community.

In this case, the law is an ass: it does not protect small people against bullies.

MORAIG PEDEN
Pietermaritzburg





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