Stability continues to reign in Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal and law enforcement agencies are conducting mop-up operations after the recent unrest to ensure opportunistic and copycat activities do not flare up.
This was the word from acting Minister in the Presidency Khumbudzo Ntshavheni at a media briefing on the unrest on Wednesday afternoon.
“Since the unrests of the last two weeks, concerns have also been raised about food security in the SADC region as a number of our neighbouring countries also rely on the South African ports for their imports of food and critical supplies,” Ntshavheni said.
“We want to reassure the region of SADC that law enforcement agencies have posted extra security personnel along the major routes to ensure the secure passage of the long-haul logistics trucks and the rail network. We were informed by the South African National Road Agency Limited (SANRAL) that over nine thousand trucks were moving on the N3 per day without any incidents against logistic trucks,” Ntshavheni said.
Ntshavheni said that the ports of Durban and Richards Bay were now fully operational. She added that the unrest had not affected the country’s other ports.
“All activities at the port of Durban, specifically agricultural ones, have normalised and were in entire operation since the start of this week. The only delays at the ports are due to the backlogs that were caused by the closure during the period of the unrests,” she said.
Ntshavheni said land border post officials were working around the clock to process logistics trucks so that they can reach their destinations safely and on time.
“Regarding additional measures which we put in place to address the concerns of food security in KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng, government has engaged food processors and suppliers, farmers, and Agri-businesses to ensure the stability of the food supply chain,” Ntshavheni said.
“Importantly, government and social partners secured the logistics centres where communities can easily access food. As I speak today, the security of food supplies has been normalised mainly across the affected provinces,” she said.
Ntshavheni noted that:
- All shopping malls, supermarkets and spaza shops that had not been affected by the unrest had been operational since Saturday 17 July 2021.
- Bakeries have also been operational and bread which was in short supply in KZN has been on the shelves since the weekend.
- Milk supplies are now available, and depots have been collecting from farmers.
- Sugar mills have been operational since 17 July 2021 and farmers have been able to move their cane to the mills.
- In KZN, where damage to retail infrastructure was most severe, municipalities have been working together with business communities to ensure that food availability is maintained. Where necessary, municipalities have made their facilities part of the value chain.
- Other shop owners in certain rural towns have converted additional facilities into grocery shops to improve food availability.