Mariner’s Wharf director Shaun Bloch says while he is sympathetic to the issues raised during this week’s protests, he could not understand why protesters turned on the popular restaurant and shopping emporium.
Not only were 17 benches removed from the premises and burnt along Harbour Road, but the majority of staff employed at Mariner’s Wharf are from Hangberg.
“We are concerned why they chose to do this, as we have nothing to do with the issues they are protesting about, even though we are sympathetic to them,” Mr Bloch said.
“About 70% of our windows were taken out during the protest. About 90% of our staff at the Bistro are from Hangberg, and they have been heavily traumatised by the events. They are now receiving counselling.”
Mr Bloch feared that the action would drive away tour operators from Hout Bay, and as a result the local tourism industry would be affected.
“Our tourism industry is already struggling. We are involved in a retrenchment programme already. We are trying to attract people to Hout Bay, but incidents like this are making it difficult. This turned from a demonstration into a case of malicious damage to property.”