Unrest will cost KZN at least R20bn, warns business sector

Unrest will cost KZN at least R20bn, warns business sector

The Pietermaritzburg Chamber of Commerce says the KwaZulu-Natal economy is expected to lose at least R20 billion due to the civil unrest.

A member of the Durban Metro Police looks at a looted retail store in central Durban, on July 11, 2021. Several shops are damaged and cars burnt in Durban, following a night of violence. Police are on the scene trying to control further protests. It is un

On Tuesday, government said hundreds of shopping centres, warehouses, distribution centres, post offices and other properties were looted and damaged in KZN and Gauteng.

It said 150 000 jobs were at risk.

The chamber's Melanie Vaness says the consequences will be devastating for the average citizen. 

"Those businesses are all paying taxes. They are paying rates to your local municipalities. 

READ: Suspected instigator of unrest Ngizwe Mchunu denied bail

"Obviously, their businesses are not worth; their premises are not worth what they were worth previously and so they will have a reduction due to them in rates. 

"It will ruin income to local government, they won't be making money so they won't be paying any taxes so there will be less for us in the fiscus for us to utilise for social development and support and infrastructure. 

"So ultimately, I think R20 billion is a starting point."

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