The KwaZulu-Natal Economic Council on Tuesday condemned the looting and destruction of businesses and property in the province.
The council also warned of the economic consequences if the situation was not immediately contained.
Businesses indicated that as a result of shutting down operations, destruction of property, physical loss of goods and working hours, the cost to the economy will run into billions of rand.
“Business condemns the unpatriotic rioting and looting currently being carried out in KZN and Gauteng. The losses incurred from looting has reached billions and it will take years to recover from the economic crisis with further increases in job losses being inevitable. This violence must stop now to prevent economic disaster,” KZN Economic Council, Co-convenor of Business, Dominic Collette.
The council warned the latest developments would undermine the economic reconstruction and recovery plan as well as significantly dampen investor confidence in the province.
The loss of jobs and livelihoods was also highlighted as one of the immediate consequences of the latest prevailing situation, especially at the height of a pandemic.
The council also called on the Justice, Crime Prevention and Security cluster to move with speed to arrest the deteriorating situation, which is posing a threat to the economy.
Over the last few days, KZN has experienced violent incidents, road blockades as well as the burning of trucks, warehouses, shops, and being involved in a massive looting spree.
The local council acknowledged that what has started as political protests has morphed into criminality and sheer thuggery.
The KZN Economic Council has coordinated the province’s economic response and its members and has welcomed the deployment of the army to support the work of the police.
It has also called for the visibility of law enforcement officers in key economic points such as the ports, distribution centres and freeways.
The KZN council has warned that the shortage of consumer goods will certainly be the reality in the next coming days as shops would have been emptied, and no supply of goods and services will be possible.
“We strongly condemn the looting of businesses. The criminals and perpetrators of this violence are threatening and destroying the livelihoods of people. This looting has at a time when there an increase in the number of people infected with Covid-19 and sadly those people cannot have access to medicines or hospitalisation. Enough is enough,” KZN Economic Council, Convenor of Civil Society, Sithembiso Madlala said.
Article written by: IOL
Photo credit: Fresh Headline