July Unrest: Protests, Looting, and Violence, Businesses in KwaZulu-Natal Still Rebuilding a Year Later

July Unrest: Protests, Looting, and Violence, Businesses in KwaZulu-Natal Still Rebuilding a Year Later

  • KwaZulu-Natal and parts of Gauteng were thrown into chaos, a year ago that led to looting, violence and death
  • KwaZulu-Natal Premier Sihle Zikalala said plans are in motion to reconstruct the economy in the province
  • He added that the South African Human Rights Commission, poverty and unemployment exacerbated the situation

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DURBAN - Almost a year ago, KwaZulu-Natal and parts of Gauteng were thrown into chaos when unrest descended that led to violence, looting and deaths.

Several businesses are still rebuilding, and others have closed their doors, causing more unemployment in the already besieged economy.

1 year, July unrest, protests, looting, violence, KwaZulu-Natal
Several businesses are still rebuilding a year after the July unrest. Image: Phill Magakoe/AFP
Source: Getty Images

KwaZulu-Natal Premier Sihle Zikalala said in an interview with SABC News that the anniversary of the unrest brings back memories of several people killed. A year later, he said plans are in motion to reconstruct the economy. Zikalala said a number of factories and warehouses were destroyed and that several businesses are opening up and getting back into operation.

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He added that according to the South African Human Rights Commission, poverty and unemployment exacerbated the situation and more attention needs to be given to those factors. Following the unrest, Metro police have been proactive in finding solutions in the event of a similar situation occurring in the future.

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Durban Metro Police Deputy Commissioner Sibonelo Mchunu told IOL that almost 600 officers are training to help with capacity. He said the crowds were “violent” towards property and police officers were outnumbered. Mchunu added that there were points where rubber bullets ran out.

South Africans react to the July unrest:

@HennieTheart said:

“And what else is happening??? The government again failed to address the strike at Eskom!!! It does not look like the government can perform?”

@shshangase_6835 posted:

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“It all happened because of poor leadership! Decision-making is a critical skill in leadership!”

@Sbokloza commented:

“What did we achieve from it? Except for poverty and unemployment.”

@Reg_nza added:

“Was a very stupid thing to do and also very sad. Many people lost their jobs during a difficult time adding to the serious unemployment situation in the country. Many looters regretted it later when they realised it brought greater poverty to the looters themselves.”

Looters regretful about July unrest, some South Africans show sympathy

In a related matter, Briefly News also reported the impacts of the social unrest and looting that happened in July are still being widely felt by communities that lost shopping centres, malls and small businesses.

The destruction that struck parts of KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng led to many people being left without jobs or even a source of income, adding on to the large pool of unemployed people in South Africa, according to EWN.

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Source: Briefly News

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