- Warnings have been issued around an impending food shortage crisis which has already begun to sprout in parts of South Africa
- The sporadic public violence and looting which has gripped KwaZulu-Natal before spreading to Gauteng has raised the alarm on the fresh concerns
- Several major food chain outlets have closed shop with others, particularly in malls, bearing the brunt of the wave of destruction of property and looting
Food shortages have started to become a reality for many South Africans a week into sporadic public violence and looting which started in KwaZulu-Natal before spreading to Gauteng.
Several major food chain outlets have closed shop with others, particularly in malls, bearing the brunt of ongoing looting and the destruction of property. Trucks carrying fast-moving consumer goods have been torched as the wave of unrest continues.
Mass production and storage facilities, including the Tastic Rice warehouse in Durban's Mobeni, where hundreds flocked to its doors in a tyrannical looting spree on Tuesday, have also been emptied.
Not too far away in the Durban CBD, long queues formed outside the handful of shops that kept open, with basics such as bread and milk in short supply. Gavin Hudson, the CEO of Tongaat Hulett, said the factory has suspended milling and refining operations.
"Food is going to be a problem because shops haven’t been open for three days and many with bulk storage have been looted. We are going to face some food issues in KwaZulu-Natal very shortly," said Hudson.
According to Business Day, retailers have lost an estimated R5 billion to date with alcohol producers' body The Beer Association of SA calling for a state of emergency after two South African Breweries (SAB) depots in KwaZulu-Natal were looted and set alight.
Nicole Mirkin, a spokesperson for the Beer Association, said in a statement:
"There is a fear that the other three remaining SAB facilities in the province will also be targeted."
Extensive destruction to goods-carrying trucks recorded
Briefly News understands that as of Wednesday, more than 600 retail and liquor stores have, so far, been damaged and destroyed, according to reports received by the association.
Additionally, according to reports, more than 35 trucks have been destroyed, costing logistics firms of at least R300 million. The costs of the damages are expected to be much higher once further evaluations are carried out.
This has resulted in the closing of the N3 route between Durban and Johannesburg, placing an immediate suspension on the flow of food and other essential goods. President Cyril Ramaphosa, in his address to the nation on Monday, described the violence as opportunistic acts of criminality.
Political party to sue Ramaphosa over riots, cluster ministers in firing line
Security cluster ministers are also in the firing line amid the ongoing public violence which continues to wreak havoc in Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal.
More than 70 people are said to have been killed during this time while law enforcement and the South African National Defence Force (SANDF) work to quell the unrest.
Critical of Ramaphosa and his cabinet's response to South Africa's upending social crises, the former DA leader did not mince his words on the upcoming pivotal steps to be taken by his party.
"We'll be compiling a test case of the South African legal system in which we'll be suing the ANC, the president, the minister of police and all the ministers of the security cluster, jointly and severally, for loss and damage to property."
Enjoyed reading our story? Download BRIEFLY's news app on Google Play now and stay up-to-date with major South African news!
Source: Briefly News