The looting and unrest crisis in Gauteng has had a negative impact especially to me because I am located within the township of Soweto where this activity was at its peak. I had not imagined activities of this particular nature occurring during this phase of the COVID-19 global pandemic. Convenience stores, nearby shopping centers, malls and service stations have been looted with their Infrastructure damaged/vandalized as well. The activity has left shop owners or managers with only one option of discontinuing their operation until the unrest comes to ease. This essentially means that we now have to travel when having to do our shopping because shops in close proximity are not operating, ATMs have been exploded and others damaged so cash is also no longer accessible as it was before. This violence has led to the shortage of public transport (Buses, Taxi’s & Ubers), drivers are concerned with their safety as criminal activities are high.
The most important thing at this point is ensuring food security, shops in operation are running out of stock and other shops nearby are illegally raising their food prices due to the high demand.
Rebuilding is another issue as people who have suffered losses are not really sure of what to expect next but I believe we together with the government can come up with initiatives of ensuring that the negative impact is reduced to its minimum. We need to protect our reputation as a country, our image has been affected, potential investors and developers are now thinking twice about Gauteng and KZN.