South Africans optimistic scenes witnessed during July 2021 unrest will not be repeated

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A year after last year’s civil unrest, some South Africans say they are optimistic that history will not repeat itself.

South Africans and people across the world watched as the looting of businesses and vandalism of infrastructure erupted across KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng.

The residents say they hope the disruption will not happen again.

“Well this July unrest taught us to be always prepared for these situations. My wife was very scared to get to work because the roads were always on fire. That thing went away and now we have to look forward. When we reflect on the July unrest, we think of all the fear, destruction and huge losses incurred by many businesses and people of the country. I pray that we never have to go through this again.”

July Unrest I One year since mass looting and unrest rocked Gauteng and KZN:

The Durban Chamber of Commerce and Industry says last year’s civil unrest has deterred investors.

Several businesses were forced to close after days of widespread looting and vandalism in KwaZulu-Natal and parts of Gauteng. The Chamber’s CEO Palesa Phili says several investors are still reluctant to come to the province.

She says some businesses have made the difficult decision not to re-open.

“The unrest caused immense damage to the province of KwaZulu-Natal and the City of eThekwini more specifically because we were a hot spot. There was a financial damage but over and above that, the worse part is the reputational damage of ensuring that the businesses trust that the investment is safe in the province, but also to get investors to come and invest in the province has been an uphill battle for us as the business community from KwaZulu-Natal given what happened with the unrest. We do have quite a lot of companies that decided to just pack and leave. Even medium businesses that were hiring here in our province they have left, they have gone to different provinces in the country.”

KwaMashu damage

The trail of destruction from last years civil unrest remains in several parts of Durban.

Reporter Simphiwe Makhanya is at Bridge City mall in KwaMashu: