The Federation of Unions of South Africa (Fedusa) says government has displayed weak leadership in dealing with the looting and destruction of property in KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng.
Fedusa says the vaccination roll-out that was beginning to gain some momentum has now also been delayed.
The federation says while the deployment of the army to the two provinces is welcome – it is too little too late.
Fedusa general-secretary Riefdah Ajam says it will take years to rebuild the infrastructure that has been destroyed during the looting.
“Fedusa is deeply disappointed with government’s display of a weak and lethargic leadership as thugs literally burned down South Africa and livelihoods. Images of anarchy in KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng remains haunting and refuses to go away.”
“The belated deployment of the army is an important initial step to address the mayhem, but it comes after millions of rand worth of economic infrastructure is destroyed. Hundreds of businesses may fault and thousands of workers may be retrenched as a direct result,” adds Ajam.
Aerial view of looting in KwaZulu-Natal:
BMF calls for calm
Meanwhile, the Black Management Forum (BMF) has called for calm amid the widespread civil unrest in parts of the country.
It says the country’s democratic order is being severely tested.
In a statement, the organisation says while it does not condone the opportunistic criminal elements – the scenes of looting and destruction of infrastructure are exposing the socio-economic conditions of many South Africans.
The BMF says the country’s leaders, in both government and business, need to use all available resources to focus on economic transformation.
South African government intelligence body, the National Joint Operational and Intelligence Structure (Nat Joints) says 72 people have now been confirmed to have died in the spate of looting and violence that has hit Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal.
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