Businesses Begin To Reopen After Riots In South Africa As Situation Stabilizes

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Businesses Begin to Reopen After Riots in South Africa as Situation Stabilizes

JOHANNESBURG (UrduPoint News / Sputnik - 21st July, 2021) Shops in South Africa began to reopen after the violent protests that have engulfed the country in the recent weeks forced some 40,000 businesses to close down, acting minister in the South African presidency Khumbudzo Ntshavheni told Sputnik on Tuesday.

"On behalf of the government, we can confidently say that our country has turned the tide, and we are moving towards stability. We are restoring the economy and guaranteeing social cohesion," Ntshavheni said.

According to the minister, no cases of looting have been recorded over the past 24 hours, and the situation in the affected provinces of Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal has stabilized.

Ntshavheni stressed that the damage inflicted on the shops and factories in KwaZulu-Natal will affect the country's economy as a whole.

"More than 200 shopping centers in total were damaged.

In KwaZulu-Natal, over 100 shopping centers were burned down or seriously damaged, about 3,000 stores were looted. In KwaZulu-Natal, 150,000 jobs are now under threat, around 40,000 businesses have been affected. The impact on the region's GDP is estimated at 20 billion South African rand [$1.3 billion]," she noted.

The minister added that this week about 200 people were brought to court in Gauteng for participating in riots.

Protests erupted in early July following the news of the jailing of the country's former President Jacob Zuma. The first waves of unrest began in KwaZulu-Natal and have since spilled over to South Africa's economic capital of Johannesburg in the province of Gauteng. The protests were accompanied by looting and vandalism. The government dispatched the troops to quell the unrest.