Note to Editors: Please find attached soundbite by Dean Macpherson MP.
The pace of KwaZulu-Natal’s recovery from the devastation of the past few days, brought about by rampant looting and disruption to the Province’s supply chains, will depend on a well-coordinated Provincial plan that brings together all stakeholders in the Province to begin the recovery effort.
In the face of food and fuel supply shortages that have left the Province’s traumatised residents trapped in endless queues, Premier Sihle Zikalala’s government has been slow to respond to the unfolding crisis.
The DA will write to the President of the Durban Chamber of Commerce and Industry (DCCI), Mr Nigel Ward, and ask that DCCI convenes an urgent multi-stakeholder recovery meeting comprising, government, business and law enforcement agencies. Invited stakeholders will include the Provincial government, Special Risks Insurance Association (SASRIA), Agriculture representatives, SAPS, the command element of SANDF deployed to the Province, representatives from the transport, food manufacturing and warehousing sectors in the Province.
The purpose of the meeting will be to:
- obtain clarity from SASRIA on how the insurance payouts to affected business will unfold;
- map out a coordinated security plan with law enforcement for business;
- assess the prevailing supply chain bottlenecks and possible intervention;
- deliberate on the restoration of manufacturing capacity;
- work out how the supply of goods and services in retail outlets can be sped up to provide relief to residents; and
- lay out how the clean-up effort will unfold.
It is clear that a firm security guarantee is needed if KwaZulu-Natal is to embark on a sustainable recovery effort. SANDF has the vehicles, equipment and personnel for this crucial task. And while they must also assist SAPS with law enforcement duties, protecting the province’s food security and supply chains must be a top priority.
We are still in the middle of a devastating third wave of the Covid-19 pandemic and it is imperative that food, fuel and medicine supplies are restored as a matter of urgency to protect residents from exposure to potential super spreader queues.
The KwaZulu-Natal business sector was disproportionately affected by the looting campaign and arson attacks orchestrated by ANC warring factions. It is imperative the DCCI takes a leading role in preventing a long drawn out recovery process which will affect the local economy and lead to more job losses.