As cost of damages rises to R100mn, KZN top brass to monitor pro-Zuma protests

The unrest, which has been linked to the imprisonment of former President Jacob Zuma, has been brewing for over a week now, with 37 trucks torched so far in various parts of the province.

A screengrab of a video showing trucks set alight during protests in KwaZulu-Natal on 9 July 2021 calling for the release of former President Jacob Zuma from jail.

JOHANNESBURG - The KwaZulu-Natal provincial government has deployed its top brass to assess and monitor violent protests as the cost of damage rises to an estimated R100 million.

The unrest, which has been linked to the imprisonment of former President Jacob Zuma, has been brewing for over a week now, with 37 trucks torched so far in various parts of the province.

The KwaZulu-Natal government said 37 people had been arrested and face charges including malicious damage to property, public violence and business burglary.

KwaZulu-Natal Premier Sihle Zikalala said he and the provincial council had instructed the MECs for transport, community safety, economic development and tourism to visit the Mooiriver area following the violent protests which saw people block highways and set trucks alight.

The council has confirmed there were illegal activities such as the closure of main roads, the looting of businesses and damage to private and public property in various areas across KwaZulu-Natal.

Having placed a R100 million price tag on the damage caused, the officials are worried the disruptions will likely have a deeper impact on the economy, with a domino effect extending to other parts of the country.

The provincial government said it had requested extra resources from the national joint crime prevention and security cluster.

Authorities have adopted what they described as a “multi-pronged” response plan that included engagements with affected communities and maintaining high police visibility in areas identified as hotspots.

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