The KwaDukuza Municipal Council has noted with concerns and disappointment the level of criminality, destruction of property and looting of various businesses. The Council has noted that during the last few days criminals targeted liquor outlets and thereafter their focus changed to all types of businesses.
The Council further appreciates the work done by all of our law enforcement agencies, including private sector security companies, organized community-based crime-fighting bodies and general members of the public who have played a part in reducing the looting and destruction of property and its impact on our communities.
Impact on local economy
The local businesses and property owners in the area of KwaDukuza CBD, Shakaskraal, Etete, Groutville and Stanger Manor, has been heavily hit by these criminal activities, which has taken place in the past two weeks. The impact of this on our local economy will be felt in the next few months, in particular by those who have been employed by the looted businesses, business owners who have to repair their damaged properties, try to keep tenants, informal traders and public transport sector. This impact will also contribute to the increase of crime within our communities due to the sharp increase in unemployment, inequalities and poverty.
Threat to the food security and basic health essentials
The Council has also noted that the looting of retail shops in particular those who are selling food, vegetable, looting of various national distribution centres and burning of trucks along the national roads has compromised the food value chain around the country. KwaDukuza is not the exception and is highly affected. The Council have noted that there is ongoing apprehension in our community, whereby certain communities working with the private sector has designated the catchment “roadblocks” areas of those who will have access to shops or be given a special preference in terms of buying goods and services. As Council, we would like to call all food outlets and garages to ensure that they adhere to the constitution by ensuring that all people irrespective of race, religion or creed, have access to the shops within our jurisdiction and goods sold in those shops.
Community-led protection of property and areas
The Council appreciates the work that has been done over the last few days by various communities in our area, to ensure the safety of their property and business properties and also to ensure we keep what is left in our area. This has been done to complement the overstretched law enforcement agencies, who have been overwhelmed by the number of people that were part of criminal acts. We have also noted that there has been both positive and negative reaction by our residents about these initiatives. As the Council, we are concerned by various videos that are capturing what is deemed as acts of RACISM in some of the access points in particular in the area of Ballito.
The Council prides itself on being a Council that over the years has championed social cohesion and promotion of diversity. As we are facing the challenges of access to food and other necessities, everybody is affected either you are staying along the N2 or R102.
WE should use this crisis we are facing to unite our community and promote the spirit of UBUNTU.
We are also calling on business owners and national retailers, to provide leadership as responsible Corporate Citizens by ensuring that they serve all people with equitable food. We are calling all our community members to adhere to restrictions on the number of items they can buy per shop to ensure equal distribution of food during this period.
The Council has a responsibility of ensuring that there is peace and stability in our area. We don’t want to see the issue of access to certain areas and shops, being used by certain individuals to advance racism and community discord. Let us all have access to food, petrol and health facilities.
COVID 19 PANDEMIC – we are also calling all shops owners and our communities to continue to adhere to Covid 19 regulations. Let us ensure that in all our ques we adhere to social distancing and wearing of masks. We are also calling all community members who are between the age of 35 to 49, to register for their covid vaccination. The registration opened today, the 15thof July 2021.