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South Africa Unrest: Over 100 000 People Likely To Lose Jobs

13 August 2021

Over 100 000 people are likely to lose jobs in South Africa following the unrest that was triggered by the imprisonment of former President Jacob Zuma on 8 July.

Zuma was imprisoned for refusing to appear before the Zondo Commission of Enquiry that was investigating him for corruption he allegedly committed while he was still president.

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His supporters protested his imprisonment and the protests degenerated into chaos as some individuals looted businesses and blocked roads mainly in Kwa-Zulu-Natal and Gauteng provinces.

Employment and Labour Minister Thulas Nxesi is worried about the prospects of the affected employees and business owners. Nxesi said severe job losses would emanate from the aftermath of the unrest. Nxesi said:

As a consequence, many of those businesses were turned into casualties and failed to operate.

The biggest threat was that many workers lost their jobs and income. Some of the business outlets have started to rebuild, the majority of them will take many months to reopen. Some businesses fear the recurrence of the violence experienced, and the lack of resources to finance the destroyed businesses.

The effect will be very dire for ordinary workers, who may be laid off temporarily or permanently as a result. As government, we have negotiated some relief as part of UIF benefits aimed at remunerating financial hardships for the workers affected or destroyed and looted businesses.

Nxesi visited some of the affected businesses in Soweto, Ekurhuleni and Newcastle in KwaZulu-Natal and promised to expand his visit to Durban, Pietermaritzburg, Mamelodi and Sebokeng.

He said a total of 76 shopping malls and centres in Gauteng were severely affected. He added:

There are some estimates where some are saying that anything between 75 000 and 105 000 people have lost their jobs. What happens to those workers?

Nxesi said the unrest also has had a negative impact on many consumers who relied on the malls which were looted as they now have nowhere to buy their goods.

The Zimbabwean economy depends much on the South African economy and the unrest is expected to have a huge adverse impact on Zimbabwe.

More: News24