Tag: looting

Source: News24

Shoprite has decided not to reopen six of the 231 stores that have been “significantly” damaged during the civil unrest in KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng in July.

Some 83 stores remained closed, with 47 of these stores “significantly impacted by fire”.

“[The] process of reopening for these stores will be mixed: some may open in the coming months, some may take a year, others will require new premises,” the group said.

In a presentation, Shoprite CEO Pieter Engelbrecht said that the group managed to reopen some stores that were “completely destroyed” within six days.

Unrest damage will be covered by insurance, and Shoprite already received its first payment from the state insurer Sasria. But some costs, including additional security at other stores during the unrest, can’t be recouped.

Engelbrecht said that at stores that were not damaged during the unrest, sales momentum was “very good” following the year-end. Its full-year dividend increased by 42% to 544 cents per share.

How Sasria will pay unrest claims

By Khulekani Magubane for News24

As the South African Special Risk Insurance Association (Sasria) works through claims in the wake of violent unrest and looting in July, any allocations beyond the R3.9 billion it got in July will be outlined in Finance Minister Enoch Godongwana’s medium-term budget policy statement.

This according to National Treasury’s deputy director-general for public finance, Mampho Modise, who was briefing Parliament’s Standing Committee on Appropriations on Tuesday.

The public unrest and looting in July had its beginnings in the outcry following the incarceration of former president Jacob Zuma for disregarding the Constitutional Court and refusing to subject himself to the Judicial Commission of Inquiry into State Capture. However, this quickly morphed into waves of violence that saw the looting and destruction of businesses, mostly in KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng, with the cost of unrest exceeding R20 billion in KwaZulu-Natal alone and the impact on national GDP estimated to be R50 billion.

Sasria is a National Treasury entity that provides cover for loss or damage to insured property due to terrorism, political violence, strikes and riots. It has cover of up to R500 million and additional coverage of R1 billion. The association cannot cancel nor refuse cover. It said earlier in August that claims related to the violence had already surpassed R10 billion.

Modise also told the Standing Committee on Tuesday morning that a special appropriation bill to the tune of R32 billion would be funded through last year’s “higher-than-expected” revenue and would also go towards providing support towards people and businesses affected by July’s unrest, including those not covered by Sasria.

Modise said the allocations would be made in terms of the Public Finance Management Act (PFMA) and guidelines of each department. She said on top of higher-than-expected revenues, National Treasury requested that government departments re-allocate funds internally, rather than asking for more money.

“Funding for five votes was allocated, splitting the allocations in terms of section 16 of the PFMA for emergency funding and provisions for the Department of Trade Industry and Competition to assist companies affected [by the unrest], but not covered by Sasria,” said Modise.

Modise said the allocations of the special appropriation included R10 billion for the Department of Social Development, R1.3 billion for small businesses support to the Department of Trade, Industry and Competition and R3.9 billion for Sasria.

She said R16.7 billion for social development as well as R700 million to the Department of Defence and Military Veterans for the deployment of South African National Defence Force personnel and R250 million to the Police Ministry for appointment of more personnel to respond to unrest.

Regarding Sasria, Modise said National Treasury has been engaging regularly with the state-owned insurer and said the R3.9 billion injection gave Sasria room to balance its books as it works through claims.

“Because they don’t know how much they will need, since they have not assessed all of the claims, there is R3.9 billion and if there is more it can be dealt with in the medium-term budget policy statement, but this R3.9 billion is there to assist them,” Modise said.

Modise said 13.2 million people were likely eligible for a South African Social Security Agency’s Social Relief of Distress grant, which includes 7.3 million caregivers. A total of R26.7 billion will be transferred those in need.

Modise said the Department of Small Business Development and the Department of Trade, Industry and Competition made proposals for adjustments, with the Department of Small Business Development committing to reallocate R300 million internally.

The Department of Trade, Industry and Competition told National Treasury it will need R3 billion, but Treasury identified funds that could be reallocated. Following this, the department said it would reallocate R700 million from existing funds.

“When the riots started, the two departments approached Treasury. The Department of Small Business Development did a survey on the impact of the unrest and spoke to businesses. They are trying to do this on a continuous basis to update their numbers,” Modise said.

She said the Department of Public Works and Infrastructure would get R600 million for the refurbishment of critical infrastructure. A loan facility will assist manufacturers affected by unrest through restocking, fitting and other functions, she added.

She said the retail recovery support fund will provide interest-free loans to companies that are not covered by Sasria. Modise said the R12 billion contingency reserve has not be used for any new items outside of the health interventions.

The Standing Committee on Appropriations chair Sifiso Buthelezi said Sasria was due to appear before the committee on 8 September.


Mustek building torched

Source: MyBroadband

Looters attacked Mustek’s offices in the North of Durban on Monday, stealing everything of value and leaving the facility wrecked.

On Tuesday evening a video posted online showed that the building had been set ablaze.

Mustek managing director Hein Engelbrecht confirmed that the building in the video was indeed their Durban office, which the company rented.

With this attack and the subsequent arson, criminals have destroyed a key information technology and computer hardware provider in the eThekwini area.

Mustek’s Durban offices handled orders from technology retailers in the area, dispatched goods to clients, and offered after-sales support services. Stock of some items was held on the premises.

Speaking to MyBroadband earlier today, Engelbrecht said that they had thankfully told the few operational staff still working from the offices to stay home on Monday.

“We just had a feeling … we saw the reports of unrest and some of our staff said that they were struggling to get out of their neighbourhoods. So we told everyone to stay home on Monday,” said Engelbrecht.

With South Africa’s adjusted Alert Level 4 lockdown in place, all the sales staff that usually work from Mustek’s Durban facility were already working from home.

Only some operational staff who work on dispatch and after-sales support were still working from the office.

Engelbrecht said that when the looters first attacked, their security personnel tried to hold them out but were overrun.

One security guard was hospitalised.

The police soon arrived on the scene and dispersed the mob. While the situation was calm the police were called away to quell unrest in a different location.

Engelbrecht said the police had not been gone for ten minutes before the looters returned in full force and stripped the office bare.

Looters also tore through the property, ripping screens off of walls and damaging company delivery vehicles.

Some vandals then returned on Tuesday and set the building alight.

Engelbrecht could not provide an estimate of the cost of the damage.

“We are busy assessing the damage — I don’t want to guess right now,” he said.

The loss of their Durban offices will cause some service disruption for clients in KwaZulu-Natal, but Engelbrecht said it does not impact their national operations.

He said that as soon as the highway between Johannesburg and Durban re-opens, Mustek can restructure to serve KwaZulu-Natal clients from Gauteng — though he added that this will cost a bit more.


By Nokukhanya N Mntambo for Jacaranda FM

Some major retail outlets across the country have rushed to close their doors out of fear of being hit by looters.

Several Makro stores in KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng have been gutted by fire after their shelves were emptied.

The brazen attacks come amid rising tensions in both provinces with some communities coming out in their numbers to rob businesses in broad daylight.

Makro says it has closed its doors until further notice.

Health and beauty retailers Clicks says it will also close some of its stores indefinitely.

“Due to unrest in KZN and Gauteng, some stores will be closed until further notice for the safety of our staff and customers.”

See affected Clicks stores here.

Image credit: ANA

Source: A News
Image credit: AP

South African police on Monday arrested dozens of people following looting in Johannesburg and protests in the transport industry linked to a wave of anti-foreigner sentiment. At least 41 people were arrested after hundreds of people marched through Johannesburg’s Central Business District (CBD), plundering shops and torching cars and buildings, the police said in a statement.

Looting and violence spread across several neighborhoods in South Africa’s major cities of Pretoria and Johannesburg on Monday, after a spate of overnight attacks that appeared to target foreign-owned shops.

At least 50 shops were looted and burned early Monday in the southern Johannesburg suburbs of Malvern and Jeppestown. Police fired rubber bullets at looters as burnt cars were stranded in the roads as violence grew.

Officials dismissed reports that the ongoing attacks were xenophobic and that foreign-owned shops were targeted in the violence, insisting they were opportunistic crimes.

“Xenophobia is just an excuse that is being used by people to commit criminal acts,” Police Minister Bheki Cele told the media on Monday afternoon. “It is not xenophobia, but pure criminality.”

Cele said the government’s first priority was to deploy more police officers to the affected areas.

Police arrested 41 people for the violence in Johannesburg, while 8 others were arrested in Tembisa township, east of Johannesburg, and one person arrested in the capitol Pretoria, police said.

On Monday, a pamphlet circulating on social media, seen by The Associated Press, encouraged South Africans to chase foreigners out of their communities.

The pamphlet, attributed to a group called the Sisonke People’s Forum, accused foreigners living in South Africa of selling drugs and stealing jobs, both common refrains during the regular flare-ups of violence against foreigners in the greater Johannesburg area in recent years.

Monday’s violence follows similar incidents in Pretoria last week, in which protest led by taxi drivers saw several foreign-owned shops looted and torched.

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