Ntshavheni: 150,000 jobs at risk in KZN in wake of riots, looting

Acting Minister in the Presidency Khumbudzo Ntshavheni said that it was estimated that the province’s gross domestic product (GDP) had suffered a R20 billion setback.

Suspected looters carry goods from the Game Warehouse in Durban on 13 July 2021. Picture: AFP

CAPE TOWN - As many as 150,000 jobs in KwaZulu-Natal could be on the line in the wake of the recent civil unrest.

Acting Minister in the Presidency Khumbudzo Ntshavheni said that it was estimated that the province’s gross domestic product (GDP) had suffered a R20 billion setback.

She said that while calm had returned to KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng, the impact of the destruction on the economy would be felt across the country.

She gave an update on the security situation in the country on Tuesday afternoon.

While police and defence force members remained on high alert, calm had largely been restored but the full cost of the mayhem of the past two weeks had yet to be fully tallied.

Minister Ntshavheni cited estimates from the SA Property Owners’ Association (Sapoa) for KwaZulu-Natal, saying that the figures for Gauteng would come next week.

One hundred and sixty-one malls, 11 warehouses, eight factories, 161 liquor outlets and distributors were extensively damaged. More than 200 shopping centres and about 3,000 stores were looted and damaged and more than 100 malls were burned. One thousand four hundred ATMs, 300 banks and post offices and 90 pharmacies were vandalised.

Stock valued at R1,5bn had been lost in Durban alone.

"One hundred and fifty thousand jobs are at risk in KZN as we speak, and 50,000 informal traders and 40,000 businesses were affected - and they're estimating currently the loss to be r20bn, that would be the impact on the KZN GDP," the minister said.

Ntshavheni said that state-owned special-risk insurance body Sasria would assess the full extent of the damage and government and other bodies were working on assistance for small businesses which were mostly uninsured, as well as poor households.

WATCH: KZN GDP loses R20 billion due to violence, looting

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