The African National Congress (ANC), South African Communist Party (SACP) and Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU) have begun a nationwide mobilisation of their structures and communities against the violence and destruction that has hit many communities, particularly in Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal.
This follows an urgent meeting of the Alliance Political Council, comprising the national officials and office bearers of the ANC, SACP and COSATU, on Thursday morning, 15 July 2021. The meeting was convened to discuss the violence, destruction, economic sabotage and looting that started in some parts of KwaZulu-Natal in the last few days and thereafter spread to some parts of Gauteng, and elsewhere.
The Alliance Political Council called on the state to strengthen its efforts to stop the violence, destruction, looting and sabotage, with immediate effect, and to protect life, restore stability, and ensure the uninterrupted implementation of our national COVID-19 preventative strategy and vaccination rollout. Those responsible for planning and executing these acts must be brought to book by the criminal justice system and face the consequences provided for by the law.
At the same time, the government, working with labour, communities, and business must prepare to achieve economic reconstruction and recovery, provide for disaster relief measures, and strengthen our response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Alliance will undertake a co-ordinated joint effort through its structures to help end the violence and destruction. This will include undertaking community engagements to discourage looting and violence, supporting the work of the organs of state responsible for law enforcement, including through Community Policing Forums, gathering information and responding to any incidents, and mobilising community members to participate in clean-up operations in areas that have experienced violence and looting. These interventions will be within the framework of COVID-19 preventative regulations.
The counterrevolutionary offensive manifested by violence, looting, destruction, and economic sabotage must be stopped immediately. South Africa must focus on democratic transformation and development by advancing economic reconstruction and recovery to achieve transformation and inclusive growth.
The Alliance Political Council commends communities and different sectors of society that have taken a stance against the violence, destruction, looting and economic sabotage, and encourages them to stand firm. They are setting a clear example of the active citizenry that is needed to defend our democracy, our constitution, and the rule of law.
The meeting expressed deep concern at reports of racial tension and violence, particularly in the eThekwini metropolitan area, KZN Province, and called for immediate intervention by the leadership and security services.
The meeting also denounced the racial profiling reported to be taking place at some shopping centres in KwaZulu-Natal. Non-racial national unity is essential, now and forever. The attempts at fuelling racial tensions are aimed at perpetuating lawlessness. We call on all South Africans to unite to defeat any attempts at sowing racial and ethnic divisions. The attempts by the instigators to set one national group of our people against another must be defeated. Alliance structures, other civil society formations and all communities must work together to promote non-racial and non-sexist social cohesion.
We call on all people in South Africa to forge broad unity in defence of our democracy and other hard-won gains. We must come together regardless of affiliation and defend our democratically elected government. We must assert with a resounding voice, as the Freedom Charter declared, “for all in our country and the world to know: that South Africa belongs to all who live in it, black and white, and that no government can justly claim authority unless it is based on the will of the People”.
As a result of the violence, destruction, and looting, major logistics networks and transportation of essential goods such as food, medicine, and fuel, and other economic activities have been disrupted. This endangers the health and well-being of our people across the country, particularly the elderly and those with chronic medical conditions who need uninterrupted healthcare and medicine supply.
Many workers have lost their jobs as their workplaces, including malls, factories, and warehouses, have been looted, torched, and destroyed. Other workers have found it difficult to report for work, while many businesses in the affected areas have closed. This is a clear campaign of economic sabotage with the counterrevolutionary intention to bring about great hardship to millions of workers and poor South Africans.
The Alliance Political Council expressed support for the governments’ efforts to engage with different sectors of society – including labour, business and the religious sector – to ensure that peace and stability are restored, that looting, and destruction of property stops, that livelihoods and jobs are secured, and that production and trade resume in all the affected areas.
Issued by the Alliance Secretariat
Jessie Duarte, ANC Deputy Secretary-General
Solly Mapaila, SACP First Deputy General Secretary
Bheki Ntshalintshali, COSATU General Secretary
Pule Mabe, ANC Spokesperson: 071 623 4975
Alex Mohubetswane Mashilo, SACP Central Committee Member: 076 316 9816
Sizwe Pamla: 060 975 6794