The recent unrest in KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng was again under the spotlight in the National Assembly. Ministers in government’s economic cluster fielded various questions during an oral session on the short and medium-term effects, as well as the interventions put in place to assist those affected.
Finance Minister Enoch Godongwana says while it is too early to accurately determine the short and medium-term economic impact of the recent violence in KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng, the country is likely to see a reduction in the Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
The damage caused has been estimated to be around R50 billion. Godongwana says more concrete information would be available soon.
“We are expecting a one percentage point less even decline in GDP figures in the third quarter. Obviously, any decline in growth output is likely to have a negative impact on unemployment as well.”
Business owners were negatively affected by the looting:
Minister of Employment and Labour Thulas Nxesi has called on those affected by the recent unrest to apply for relief from a fund set up specifically for this purpose.
“There is funding set aside in the form of relief scheme, to assist workers affected by the unrest, gazetted as the destroyed, affected or looted workplaces, temporary financial relief scheme. All affected employers are encouraged to apply.”
Some branches of the Post Office were also affected.
Minister of Communications and Digital Technologies Khumbudzo Ntshavheni says alternative arrangements such as mobile ATMs were made to ensure grant recipients could still receive their money.
“Where there was minimum damage, services continued. In some instances, manual processes were put in place. In worst-case scenarios, clients were advised to go to the nearest point, in some instances additional pay points were arranged.”