#KZNisBurning: Government must urgently move to protect KZN’s key economic nodes

Issued by Heinz de Boer, MPL – DA KZN Spokesperson on Economic Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs
19 Jul 2021 in Press Statements

The Democratic Alliance has called on the KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) government to ensure that all security forces be urgently deployed to key economic nodes in order to secure the province’s biggest assets.

In a parallel effort, the DA has also appealed for security forces to be seen at all smaller malls, family-owned businesses, and economic zones in all areas, including townships where many families have suffered the brunt of looters.

The calls, made to KZN Premier, Sihle Zikalala, and eThekwini Mayor, Mxolisi Kaunda, follow several days of unrest in the province which saw extensive destruction and looting of property. They also come as several key international investors stand on the verge of massive disinvestment from KZN.

These are some of the provincial government’s biggest assets and the DA strongly believes that a real and tangible security initiative is urgently needed from KZN’s provincial leadership.

The Durban-based Toyota manufacturing plant is the latest major industry to call for calm – failing which it may be forced to shut operations. This while Richards Bay Minerals continues to remain under threat due to recent riots.

There is no doubt that business is hurting in an unprecedented manner – with Toyota SA pleading with government and Mayor Kaunda for a resumption of law and order.

Alarmingly, the SANDF, SAPS and Metro Police have in some areas been conspicuously absent; and in doing so failing investors in a monumental way.

KZN’s key government leaders have failed business in our province. The absence of the Premier and the Mayor at the high of the riots has been noticed. Meanwhile, the failure in negotiating peace at RBM over a number of years has put the entire Richards Bay economy in jeopardy.

Factionalism within the ANC that has incited violence can no longer be tolerated. International investors and major manufacturing companies are not interested in politics and the consequence of toxic political cabals.

The time has come for KZN’s leaders to stand up and decide whether they support anarchy or the preservation of jobs.

A massive loss of jobs will only broaden the economic gap in our already economically unequal society. Action and not promises are what is needed.