#Unrest SA: Cost of damage to KZN at least R2bn - Premier Sihle Zikalala

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KZN Premier Sihle Zikalala.
KZN Premier Sihle Zikalala.
  • Businesses such as Massmart and Unilever have pledged their support to the province. 
  • Zikalala said the declaration of a provincial state of disaster would support the reprioritisation of budgets to implement the repairs.
  • Part of the rebuilding process included uniting different KZN communities.

KwaZulu-Natal Premier Sihle Zikalala says the preliminary costs of damage following the unrest and looting in KZN is estimated at R2 billion.

"The current estimated cost of damages and relief required for the sector departments is R2 billion whereas the municipal damages require R74 million. The interim financial implications for the organs of state is R2.1 billion," Zikalala said on Tuesday.

The premier, along with Minister of Police Bheki Cele, briefed the media on law enforcement and social cohesion interventions in Phoenix township north of Durban. 

In KZN, the unrest led to several stores being looted.

READ |  #UnrestSA: KwaZulu-Natal home affairs offices reopen after theft, vandalism

However, Zikalala said these figures were not final and was expected to increase.

"We can confirm that with the work done so far, the situation is beyond the provincial and municipal capacity to deal with the cost of public riots and unrest as reported."

For this reason, the premier's office had recommended to submit it for classification to the national disaster management centre in terms of section 23(1)(b) of the Disaster Management Act.

Zikalala added that the declaration of a provincial state of disaster would support the reprioritisation of budgets to implement the repairs and recovery programmes.

Rebuilding KZN

The province would also be taking part in various programmes in a bid to to rebuild and unite the people of KZN.

Businesses such as Massmart and Unilever had pledged their support to the province. The positive turnaround seen at Toyota after threatening to leave was also a step in the right direction, the premier noted. 

ALSO READ | Phoenix unrest claimed 36 lives - Police Minister Bheki Cele

"Major retailers such as Massmart which includes stores such as Game, Boxer; Makro, Shoprite, Woolworths, Pick n Pay have begun their operations, with key malls in and around KwaZulu-Natal reopened. This is sending a positive message to South Africa and the world that KwaZulu-Natal is open for business," Zikalala added.

Also emphasising the need for social cohesion, Cele said the crucial work to rebuild trust between communities was underway.

"Calm has returned to the province of KZN and government's security cluster has marshalled all its resources to restore stability," Cele added.

He said members of the South African Defence Force (SANDF) were supporting the SAPS and its specialised units including Public Order Police, Tactical Response Teams (TRT) and Metro Police deployed daily to Phoenix, Bhambayi, Zwelitsha and uMaoti.

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