Opinion

PROTEC responsds to Riots

As thousands of NGOs, companies, and individuals count the horrendous cost of the damage resulting from the rioting and looting in Kwa Zulu-Natal over the past few days, we must immediately start planning the rebuilding and reopening of our services to minimise, as far as possible, the impact on our children’s futures and the livelihoods of their families.

PROTEC branches in KZN have been broken into and destroyed. All 50 desktop computers, more than 40 tablets pre-loaded with content and data, printers, rooters, cables, fridges and all kitchen equipment, and much of the furniture was stolen from the Inanda branch. The police were called, but did not come. The Umbogintwini offices were also broken into, trashed, and some equipment and 24 tablets were stolen.

Other of our branches and projects in KZN particularly are still in the process of assessing their losses, as are so many other NGOs whose sole objective is to better the lives of disadvantaged people, to give hope for brighter futures.

Our appeal is for decisive and immediate action by our government to bring the situation under control. Our appeal is for the sake of our children’s future. We cannot allow this to be the legacy we pass on to them.
Anthony Hlungwane, CEO of The Unplugg Group, a PROTEC alumnus and a PROTEC board member, writes on LinkedIn, “How is this justified and how does it move us forward as a nation?

These acts have a devastating and lasting impact on our children and communities…” We join his call for urgent and comprehensive intervention from all stakeholders to bring this situation under control. “We also need a comprehensive strategy and roadmap to move us forward as a nation… It is time to stop thinking about personal gains and think about national gains”.

Let’s start now, building a healthy national environment where our children – wherever they are – can flourish and succeed and be the future that this country so desperately needs. Nelson Mandela, who sacrificed so much for a better life for all in the country, must have the last word: “It is so easy to break down and destroy. Heroes are those who make peace and build.”

Written by Balan Moodley, CEO, PROTEC

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