KZN declares state of disaster following unrest and looting

This follows deadly civil unrest that occurred over two weeks ago.

FILE: KZN premier Sihle Zikalala during his brief on the government’s efforts to restore the economy and communities in the province on Saturday, 24 July 2021. Picture: Twitter/@kzngov

DURBAN - Government authorities in KwaZulu-Natal declared a provincial state of disaster on Thursday following deadly civil unrest earlier this month.

Looting sprees in KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng resulted in over 300 deaths.

Billions of rands worth of stock and property were also looted and ransacked.

WATCH: ‘They took everything I had’- Small magwinya business burnt

KwaZulu-Natal Premier Sihle Zikalala said the provincial state of disaster would assist them in addressing various problems.

“The infrastructure damage is about R1.5 billion and we need to ensure that we rebuild quickly. And that will allow us to reprioritise within the budget but also to ask relevant departments to make more contributions so that we are able to repair or rebuild the public infrastructure that has been damaged.”

The premier said the total financial impact of the violence was being assessed.

He said they were desperate for intervention from national government as provincial government and municipalities lacked the capacity to address many issues already identified.

WATCH: ‘We will become stronger after this.’ – KZN furniture shop owner hopeful after violence

Also on Thursday, the United Nations announced a partnership with the KwaZulu-Natal government that is faced with infrastructure damage estimated at R45 billion.

The envisioned joint programme was aimed to address socioeconomic issues including poverty, unemployment and gender issues.

UN resident coordinator for South Africa, Nardos Bekele-Thomas said, “So we are thinking of coming out with a very comprehensive programme in terms of complete transformation, mediation and all the others that will create the conducive environment for this country to grow.”

Zikalala said this intervention would add to 33 programmes already being carried out by the UN in the province.

“We have agreed that we should collaborate to work especially on areas of social development. We have also agreed that we should work more to ensure that we upscale on provision of community safety services.”

The UN said it planned to implement financial support but the amount would be announced once plans were finalised.

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