IN QUOTES | Here’s what the presidency said about government’s response to the unrest

16 July 2021 - 10:30 By cebelihle bhengu
Acting minister in the presidency Khumbudzo Ntshavheni said recent unrest was economic sabotage.
Acting minister in the presidency Khumbudzo Ntshavheni said recent unrest was economic sabotage.
Image: Freddy Mavunda

The government cannot yet confirm if the ongoing violence is the worst to have happened in post-apartheid SA, acting minister in the presidency Khumbudzo Ntshavheni said on Thursday as the state counts the cost of unrest that has gripped parts of Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal

Ntshavheni provided an update on the ongoing unrest on Thursday.

She allayed fears around food shortages and said government is already in talks with the industry about plans to reopen after a week that saw businesses looted and widespread destruction of property.

SA was plunged into violence last week after supporters of former president Jacob Zuma took to the streets to demand his release from the Estcourt Correctional Centre under the #FreeJacobZuma banner. 

Ntshavheni labelled the unrest as economic sabotage rather than demonstrations.

Here’s what she said in five quotes: 

Deployment of the military 

“Around 10,000 boots were already on the ground, which is an increment of 5,000 from [Wednesday] morning. This is not the largest internal deployment. The largest internal deployment of the military was for them to assist with our first phase of the Covid-19 Disaster Management Act when more than 70,000 boots were on the ground.”

Food supply 

“The claim that food supply will run short is not true. We have been meeting with the industry. Food supplies are not going to run short in 24-hours. There are enough food supplies to last us until the N2 and N3 are open to moving the goods.”

Quick-thinking Tugela Ferry Mall centre manager Mduduzo Sikhakhane and his colleagues  saved a Shoprite from being looted by pouring cooking oil and water onto the tiles outside the store on July 12 2021. Comment Moderation Policy:

Alleged instigators

“One is already in custody and police have increased surveillance of the remaining 11 suspects.”

Economic sabotage

“These are not demonstrations, this is economic sabotage. We have said there are perpetrators behind this and police are investigating the instigators. We cannot comment on the reasons behind the instigators, where the sources are and what their modus operandi is because that will jeopardise successful arrests.”

Rebuilding SA

“The government is committed to engaging with partners about a fund to rebuild SA. We are already engaged with partners on the possibilities but we cannot put specificity around the type of fund we want to put in place.”

Watch the latest videos from the South African streets below: ​