government at the bedside in KwaZulu-Natal

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KwaZulu-Natal is the province most affected by the spiral of violence that has shaken South Africa in recent days, with 180 dead out of a total of more than 200 killed in the wake of ex-president Jacob Zuma’s prison. It is in this region that President Cyril Ramaphosa visited on Friday, July 16, to assess the damage. The Minister of Police was also present this Saturday, July 17, as well as figures from the ANC, the presidential party.

With our special correspondent in Durban, Romain Song

Now that calm has returned, it’s time to take stock.

Upon arrival in Durban, a strong smell of burnt plastic spreads into the environment. It comes from a chemical plant that was set on fire during the looting. It is one of eight factories that were destroyed during riots in the country. This destruction could have caused the ongoing pollution of the coast.

Elsewhere, the ruins of burned-out shopping malls suggest the extent of the damage. 160 have been vandalized across the country. It takes many months for them to reopen.

In Inanda Township, north of Durban, residents are being mobilized to clear the rubble from a shopping mall and a gas station. In a report in the same place, two weeks ago, we no longer recognize what was then an economic lung with hundreds of customers, shops and small street vendors.

In the residential areas that are spared from looting, the residents do not lower their guard. They remain mobilized around the clock at the checkpoints. Although the situation has calmed down in the country, the fear of looting is still very strong.

Read also: Violence in South Africa “planned and coordinated”, according to President Ramaphosa

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