Gauteng lost an estimated R3.5bn & 14,500 jobs due to riots - Makhura

Gauteng Premier David Makhura has presented an update on recovery plans following violent looting and destruction.

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 – Gauteng Premier David Makhura said the province lost R3.5 billion due to the recent unrest.

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Makhura said that while the information was still preliminary, it also showed that 14,500 jobs were lost while 30 shopping malls were looted.

The Gauteng premier gave an update on the economic reconstruction and recovery plan for the province.

He said that the looting and violence came on the back of an already difficult period in Gauteng, as many had been out of work due to the level-3 lockdown regulations.

Makhura said that no factories were affected and, while malls were affected, businesses outside suffered even more significant losses.

"There has been significant disruption of small business operations. Some of the businesses don't necessarily operate in those malls, but they themselves suffered severe disruptions. This includes spaza shops, and informal traders, most of whom operate in the streets. They were severely affected by the unrest."

Makhura said the province had reached its peak of COVID infections and was on a downward trajectory, but warned Gauteng was not out of the woods just yet.

His comments follow concerns over COVID-19 infections stemming from the recent unrest experienced across parts of both Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal, adding that his government was putting a great deal of effort into ramping up vaccines as part of efforts to counter this.

With a target of 100,000 jabs, a day - 53,000 jabs were being administered a day.

Makhura also raised concerns over the transmission rate of the virus in communities, and a high number of fatalities.

He said 7,000 people were still in hospital.

“But there was a period where we had over 8,000 people admitted in our hospitals – so the admissions are coming down. We have a lot of people still succumbing to COVID-19, we are deeply concerned about that from the mortality issues and excess deaths.”

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