The Consumer Goods Council of South Africa (CGCSA) is calling for urgent government intervention to deal with the spate of violent protests across the country which are now affecting the business operations of its members and also posing a risk to the lives of staff and consumers.
CGCSA head of crime risk initiative (CRI) Abraham Nelson said in a statement that, while peaceful protests are a constitutional right in South Africa, the violence and destruction of property which has accompanied recent protests is a cause for concern to CGCSA members, particularly retailers.
Also affected are manufacturers, shopping centres, service providers such as logistics companies.
The severe disruption to business could hamper SA’s economic growth prospects, according to Nelson.
He says CGCSA members have been forced to barricade their shops or close their premises to prevent damage. This has a significant impact on business operations and also leads to irrecoverable financial losses.
The CGCSA is of the opinion that political intervention is required to address and mitigate the current situation as this is “not only a law enforcement problem but a general problem of the lack of service delivery”.
News24 reported that on Thursday service delivery protests flared up in various parts of South Africa as the general elections draw closer.
The protests on Thursday morning follow demonstrations in Alexandra where residents took to the streets over service delivery issues.
In Gauteng, Hammanskraal and Orange Grove, residents barricaded roads, and in Rus-ter-vaal outside Vereeniging and Gomorrah informal settlement in Pretoria West, police fired rubber bullets and teargas at protesters.
In Cape Town, protesters used stones and burning tyres to block the N2 near Strand on Wednesday evening and residents in Khayelitsha burnt tyres as they voiced their frustrations.