Mass looting at shopping centres will lead to job losses, businesses warn

With businesses looted, destroyed and unable to function during the violence, the Black Business Council said that small to medium business enterprises and their value chains had suffered the greatest losses.

FILE: People carry goods as they loot and vandalise the Lotsoho Mall in Katlehong township, East of Johannesburg, on 12 July 2021. Several shops are damaged and cars burnt in Johannesburg, following a night of violence. Police are on the scene trying to control further protests. It is unclear if this is linked to sporadic protests following the incarceration of former president Jacob Zuma. Picture: Phill Magakoe / AFP

JOHANNESBURG - Businesses have warned that the anarchy taking place in several parts of the country would lead to job losses and economic damage.

South Africa already has an unemployment rate of over 40% and is running a national budget deficit of about R500 billion.

With businesses looted, destroyed and unable to function during the violence, the Black Business Council said that small to medium business enterprises and their value chains had suffered the greatest losses.

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The council’s Sandile Zungu: “This order has had hurting effects very much. If you look at shopping centres in townships, they are hurt more than the shopping centres outside of those areas. With that, businesses that are in the supply chain to those centres, there is no question about that black businesses are reeling from this action of the last three days.”

On Sunday, the KwaZulu-Natal government said the violent action had cost that province alone R100 million.
By now, that amount has certainly risen.

Business Unity SA said that the riots eroded business confidence which would, in turn, result in a further loss of jobs and put a strain on South Africa’s efforts to address the severe social and economic challenges the country faced.

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