SA Unrest: Looting Cost KZN R20 Billion, 150 000 Jobs at Risk

SA Unrest: Looting Cost KZN R20 Billion, 150 000 Jobs at Risk

  • The unrest that took place in KwaZulu-Natal has causes billions of rands' loss to the province's economy
  • Acting Minister in the Presidency Khumbudzo Ntshavheni stated that KwaZulu-Natal's economy suffered a R20 billion loss
  • The eThekwini Economic Development and Planning Committee says around 1.5 million people have lost their ability to draw an income

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The KwaZulu-Natal economy has lost R20 billion as a result of the violent riots, looting and destruction of infrastructure that erupted in the aftermath of former President Jacob Zuma's arrest.

Acting Minister in the Presidency Khumbudzo Ntshavheni at a media briefing on Tuesday stated that the damage to industrial and retail facilities will heavily impact the economy, according to a report by SowetanLIVE.

Violent protest, looting, property destruction, Jacob Zuma, KwaZulu-Natal, riots, unrest
KwaZulu-Natal's economy is said to have suffered a loss of R20 billion as a result of looting and destruction of property that took place in the province. Images: Stringer/AFP
Source: Getty Images

Ntshaveni stated these losses would impact KwaZulu-Natal's GDP and also the rest of the country.

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Ntshaveni added that although some production facilities have been damaged, the majority of factories and suppliers have remained unaffected; however, the damage to property as a result of the turmoil is still being assessed.

“In terms of extensive damage, 161 malls were affected, 11 warehouses, eight factories affected and 161 liquor outlets and distributors were extensively damaged,” said Ntshavheni.

The eThekwini Economic Development and Planning Committee estimates that R1.5 billion in goods was destroyed in the riots, R15 billion in infrastructure was lost and over 50 000 informal traders lost their income, according to IOL.

This is on top of the nearly 1.5 million people who have lost their ability to work and a total of 150 000 jobs are thought to be in jeopardy.

President of the SA Property Owners’ Association (Sapoa) Andrew Konig says the commercial property sector was already struggling as a result of Covid-19 and was now facing bigger challenges because of criminal activity and the unrest.

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“During 2020 and 2021, landlords had to bear the full brunt of the lockdown and continued making payment of utilities and property rates to municipalities even when properties were not rent-producing,” said Konig.

SA Unrest: More than 50 schools looted and vandalised in KwaZulu-Natal

Briefly News previously reported that during the violent protests that took place in KwaZulu-Natal last week, more than 50 schools were reportedly burnt, looted and vandalised.

Provincial Education Departmental spokesperson Muzi Mahlambi confirmed that in addition to the schools, two circuit offices and two education centres were damaged as the violence in the province continued to spread, according to TimesLIVE.

City Press reports that the areas most affected by the looting are Umlazi and Pinetown.

Mahlambi said the department is unable to fully determine how many schools have been impacted at the moment due to the limited mobility of school officials because of lockdown.

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“Some were looted, torched and damaged. We have not been able to quantify the extent of the damage and the number of schools at this point in time," he said.

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Source: Briefly News

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