Tue, 28 Sep 2021

  • The provincial government estimates the damage following riots is R3bn, and millions will go towards rebuilding the province.
  • This was revealed in a presentation by MEC Parks Tau on Friday.
  • The virtual briefing addressed the impact of the riots on the province and the recovery plan.

While the impact of the recent riots on Gauteng is estimated to be at just over R3 billion, the province has several interventions which including funding instruments as a part of its reconstruction and recovery plan.

"The unrests happened at a time when we were beginning to accelerate the reconstruction of our economy.

"A survey is currently under way interfacing with actual enterprises on the ground about the impact of the riots," Gauteng MEC for Economic Development, Parks Tau said in his presentation on Friday.

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According to the presentation, these interventions include a R250 million allocation from the provincial government.

The virtual briefing discussed the province's economic reconstruction and recovery plan following the recent violent protests, which led to the destruction and looting of businesses in some parts of the province.

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News24 earlier reported that Gauteng was one of the two main provinces that experienced looting and violence during the unrest.

Premier David Makhura revealed earlier that 30 out of 500 malls/shopping centres in the province were affected by the violence; this is in the townships of Ekurhuleni and Johannesburg, three areas in Tshwane, one area in the west rand, and two areas in Sedibeng.

In addition, the provincial government gave a preliminary estimate of the cost damage which sits at R3.5 billion with 14 500 jobs also affected.

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In his presentation, Tau stated that the rebuild is at different stages. Still, the provincial government anticipates that many of the facilities will open from August and September and that most of the impact is in the retail sector.

"In developing our response package, we have undertaken international benchmarks as to what other countries have done in instances where they have experienced similar riots," Tau said.

The intervention strategy to be coordinated/led by the provincial government includes, but is not limited to:

- Establishment of economic rebuilding and [the] acceleration [of the] war-room to accelerate key economic initiatives;

- Partnership to support fast-moving consumer goods and logistics supply chains displaces from KZN;

- Food security and income support;

- Incentivising and supporting rebuilding with a focus on retail and associated logistics through a combination of financial legislative and administrative support and;

- Focus on rapid deployment rebuilding funding and township industrialisation funding using the Gauteng Township Economy Partnership Fund as a platform.

Makhura earlier mentioned that the preliminary R3.5 billion figure did not include many uninsured township-based businesses.

In his presentation, Tau explained that R100 million of the fund has been allocated to a rapid deployment township rebuilding effort, which will be matched by private sector contribution.

"The intent is to provide funding that will be 50% grant/50% loans, with a cap of R1 million for smaller formal businesses in distress, and up to 50k for informal businesses," Tau said.

Makhura said the province has sufficient instruments in its hands and that Gauteng does not need to declare a state of disaster.

Source: News24

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