Throughout our trip it is obvious which distributorships still send agents or catalogues to the Northern Cape, as their product range are well stocked and displayed.

One of them is WET Sports, who obviously also visit Anna de Villiers at the Gassentrum, as their product range is well represented there, even some rackets. Her main source of income is the sale of gas – and with regular electricity failures and the biting winter cold she is selling a LOT of gas – but the gregarious shop owner knows that if someone walks into a store and sees something they need, they’ll buy.

“We are busy, there are always people coming by – its hunting season, tourists travel through, it will soon be holiday camping season and we get a lot of demand from all over the Richtersveld,” she says with enthusiasm.

Her husband started the store in 1983, but she’s been trading on her own for more than 25 years after he died in 1985. Originally only selling gas and repairing gas appliances, she added quite an extensive range of camping equipment, fishing tackle and even sports equipment as customers started asking for these products. So close to the Orange River she wants to expand her fishing tackle stock, currently consisting mainly of accessories and baits, as this is a popular yellowfish and barbel fishing area.

Anna de Villiers has been trading in the Gassentrum for 25 years
 
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