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Without doubt, it has been heartwarming to see, and offered some hope in a country facing massive challenges.

It’s been more than a week after the chaotic riots and looting which shocked, devastated and appalled the country.

KwaZulu-Natal was worst hit, with the South Coast not coming off unscathed either.

However, it could have been unimaginably worse had it not been for the courageous efforts of civilians, private security companies, community policing forums, taxi associations, Amakhosi, Saps and Law Enforcement, before the army finally rolled into town.

The local community responded in emphatic fashion, typical ubuntu style, manning roadblocks, feeding the hungry and getting stuck in to cleaning up and rebuilding our beautiful seaside towns.

Without doubt, it has been heartwarming to see, and offered some hope in a country facing massive challenges.

These civilians, of all ages, races groups and religions, will undoubtedly be remembered as the heroes.

They stood up and fought tooth and nail to keep their businesses, towns and suburbs safe and unharmed from rampaging looters.

While the malls and CBDs in Port Shepstone, Hibberdene, Shelly Beach and Margate were unharmed, the rioters did loot shopping centres and buildings in Port Edward, Harding, Gamalakhe, Izingolweni and Mkholombe.

The death toll in the country is currently 212, with more than 1200 having been arrested.

Two teenage boys died in the fire at the Ugu Fresh Market.

Simon April, spokesman of Ray Nkonyeni Municipality said information was still being captured, but could confirm that the following shops and buildings were looted, torched or burnt down: shopping centres at Izingolweni, Gamalakhe and Port Edward; Ugu Fresh Market, including water tankers and other vehicles; two graders belonging to Ray Nkonyeni Municipality; Dumakude shop and hardware next to Mkholombe; Kingdom Holdings Stationery Warehouse in Munster; various shops in and around Gamalakhe; Ugu tourism office in Hibberdene.There are quite possibly more, not mentioned here.

Simon April, spokesman for Ray Nkonyeni Municipality said RNM was working with all the relevant stakeholders to determine the exact costs of the damages and how many jobs may have been lost.

He reckoned cost of damages was close to R100-million, if not more.

He thanked those, especially private security companies, who had gone above and beyond, to prevent further damage and applauded those helping to clean up the mess.

Ugu District spokesman, France Zama said municipal services of water and sanitation was likely to bear the brunt of disruptions and delays as a result of buildings and equipment being set on fire, in particular the depot near Mkholombe.

On a positive note, Port Shepstone Saps arrested four suspects for possession of suspected stolen property to the value of R400 000.

Seven vehicles transporting the goods were impounded.

Looters have been called upon to voluntarily surrender looted property or face possible arrest and criminal records as the integrated recovery operations continue.

On Tuesday this week, an intelligence driven operation resulted in R7 000 worth of looted goods in Thongazi Location near Leisure being recovered.


Article written by: South Coast Herald

Photo credit: South Coast Herald


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