ANC and alliance partners call on state to strengthen efforts against rioting
The ANC and its alliance partners have called on the state to strengthen its efforts to stop the riots in parts of SA which have cost more than 100 lives, and to ensure uninterrupted continuity of the Covid-19 vaccination rollout.
The Alliance Political Council which comprises national office bearers of the ANC, the SA Communist Party and Cosatu, wants the criminal justice system to ensure those responsible for planning and executing these acts are brought to book.
“At the same time, government needs to make thorough preparations to achieve economic reconstruction and recovery, embarking on consultation for disaster relief measures, and measures to strengthen our response to the Covid-19 pandemic, including social relief,” said the political council on Thursday.
At least 117 people have died in the riots and looting in Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal, said acting minister in the presidency Khumbudzo Ntshavheni on Thursday. Ntshavheni said while Gauteng was largely calm with few incidents overnight, the situation in KwaZulu-Natal remained volatile but much improved and was moving towards stability.
In a statement, the Alliance Political Council described the events of the past week as “a clear campaign of economic sabotage with the counter-revolutionary intention to bring about great hardship to millions of workers and poor South Africans”.
They promised to undertake a joint effort through their structures to help end the violence and destruction.
This will include community engagements to discourage looting and violence, supporting the work of the organs of state responsible for law enforcement, including through community policing forums, gathering information and responding to incidents, and mobilising community members to participate in clean-up operations, it said.
The alliance council held an urgent meeting on Thursday to discuss the riots. It said it has begun a nationwide mobilisation of structures and communities against the violence and destruction.
Alliance leaders expressed concern at reports of racial tension and violence, particularly in eThekwini, and called for immediate intervention by leadership and security services.
“The meeting also denounced the racial profiling reported to be taking place at some shopping centres in KwaZulu-Natal.
“Nonracial national unity is essential, now and forever. The attempts at fuelling racial tensions are aimed at perpetuating lawlessness,” it said, calling on South Africans to unite to defeat any attempts at sowing racial and ethnic divisions.
“The attempts by the instigators to set one national group of our people against another must be defeated.”
They noted that as a result of the violence, destruction, and looting, major logistics networks and transportation of essential goods such as food, medicine and fuel, and other economic activity had been disrupted.
Alliance leaders said this endangered the health and wellbeing of people across the country, particularly the elderly and those with chronic medical conditions who need uninterrupted healthcare and medicine.
Many workers have lost their jobs as their workplaces, which include malls, factories and warehouses, have been looted, torched and destroyed.