Basic economics or waste? SA divided by government’s decision to destroy recovered looted goods
Scores online are up in arms about government’s decision to destroy recovered looted goods.
This week police recovered thousands of rand worth of items stolen from warehouses and retail stores that were looted and damaged last week during the unrest in KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng.
Police have been following up on tip-offs from community members in both provinces to recover suspected stolen goods.
According to acting minister in the presidency Khumbudzo Ntshavheni, stolen goods were being destroyed because they are no different from fake products.
“Our people do not understand the things that affect the economy. The stolen goods are no different from counterfeit products and that is why we destroy them,” she explained.
“If the goods are stolen, it means the manufacturers of those goods are not going to generate an income from them that enables them to pay employees and continue with their businesses.”
She said the money generated from looted goods would not be taxed, which is a loss to government.
“When destroying counterfeit products, you are making sure the manufacturers can make replacement products and make them available in the market with benefits in terms of tax. The companies continue to operate and pay salaries to their workers. That is basic economics,” said Ntshavheni.
Her statement comes after police minister Bheki Cele said the stolen goods will be put in a storage facility and might be used as evidence in pending cases.
Recovered looted goods include beds, electronic items, mag wheels and a casket.
The Leather Gallery furniture store in Springfield, Durban, is still searching for its stolen R67,999 San Pablo leather couch.
The company posted on its Instagram account that it was looking for the couch but was willing to exchange it for something that “fits the house”.
On social media, many expressed different views on government’s decision to destroy looted goods.
Here is a snapshot of what they said:
Dear Government.— Mzwanele Manyi (@MzwaneleManyi) July 22, 2021
Destroying confiscated food in a sea of poverty is cruel, tonedeaf and stupid.
Confiscated food if you had to do that should be donated to child headed families, Food donors, Orphanages,
NGO's like Gift of the Givers etc
So vele all these looted items are going to be destroyed? Kunzima!— Mweli Masilela (@mwelimasilela) July 22, 2021
I wonder how a 5kg bag of maize meal will be used as evidence?— Harper (@WayneH__) July 22, 2021
This govt is sickening
All the looted goods will be destroyed 🙀🙀🙀 The food also? In a country that is engulfed by hunger. Weeeh... we live kaRUBBISH!— MakaChampange🍾 (@Bosslady_Sne) July 21, 2021
Recovering looted goods just to be destroyed as they will devalue other goods and destroy the economy— Segopotje Nkadimeng (@SegopotjeNkadi3) July 21, 2021
Is there any logic behind recovering these goods
Government confiscated stolen food from looters, government is also donating food parcels to "the poor".— Shumi Ley'nkezo Ngubane (@Maqhawe_Ngubane) July 22, 2021
I'm not even making this up, it's happening in some parts of Durban and Gauteng.💀
I’m sorry I got trust issues but I don’t believe the looted goods will be destroyed— EcoPower (@ReelHitMan) July 20, 2021
I understand that the looted goods that are now been retrieved from those who looted them, will be destroyed. Students studying business/economics science should give this when asked to define capitalism and what it does to the poor people. Equality never exists in Capitalism.— Mothupi Ramahlo Mafologela (@Mothupi28) July 22, 2021
Sure it's economics but we can't deny the moral question esp when it comes to destroying food in a country where many face hunger. I struggle with it. Used to go to school on an empty stomach came back still no food. I'm sorry. I cant. Perishables. 😳— Aldrin Sampear (@AldrinSampear) July 22, 2021
So the looted goods that were recovered are going to be destroyed.— Runnin_On_Instinct 🇿🇦 (@TheRealMariachi) July 21, 2021
Donate! Donate! Donate!
What kind of society will we be building? That it is okay to steal as long you steal food? What message are we sending to those who did the right thing and not steal? Take all the looted stuff and donate to charity or feeding schemes.— Makashule Gana (@Makashule) July 22, 2021
So the recovered looted goods will be destroyed, waste e kana 😤🚮— 🌍ling. (@neomolefi_) July 20, 2021