Gauteng violence and looting amounts to R3,5 billion

FF Plus

Gauteng violence and looting amounts to R3,5 billion
Gauteng violence and looting amounts to R3,5 billion

On Tuesday 10 August 2021, during a session of the Gauteng provincial Legislature, the FF Plus requested the province’s Premier, David Makhura, to submit an audit report on Community Safety pinpointing the shortcomings in the Department.

The party emphasised the apparent inability of the police force and community safety structures to swiftly subdue the recent unrest and looting in Gauteng and requested urgent interventions to address serious problems, like the lack of response vehicles, firearms, ammunition, training, officers and so forth.

It is unacceptable that it took the police in cooperation with community safety in Gauteng more than three days to bring the unrest situation under control.

Safety structures must be directed by legislation and not political interference.

Damage amounting to more than R3,5 billion was caused to businesses and infrastructure, 30 shopping centres were looted and mostly destroyed, 79 people were killed and 14 500 job opportunities have been lost.

The Premier’s review of the riots was disappointing as he partially blamed unemployment and poverty for the unrest and looting.

The police in Gauteng’s unsatisfactory performance can be attributed to a lack of manpower and equipment. It is unacceptable that out of a total of 24 467 police officers only 1 728 are competent to handle a firearm.

During the violence and unrest, private security companies had to step in and use their vehicles, helicopters and aeroplanes to protect shopping centres and to keep the looters from invading and ransacking residential areas as well.

Gauteng cannot afford another wave of anarchy and violence and, thus, proactive planning and preparedness are absolutely essential.

Read the original article in Afrikaans by Kobus Hoffman on FF Plus