The civil rights organisation AfriForum wrote a letter to the premier of KwaZulu-Natal on 15 July 2021, regarding the situation that is currently prevailing in this province and indicated that the current state of affairs justifies the declaration of a disaster area and the urgent intervention of the provincial government.
AfriForum is of the opinion that it is clear that the riots, with accompanying violence and vandalism, that have been taking place over the past four days are not under control.
In accordance with Section 40 of the Disaster Management Act the premier (chairman of the executive authority) is mainly responsible for the coordination and management of provincial disasters that occur in the province. According to AfriForum the situation with regard to the riots that are currently the order of the day falls under the definition of a disaster, as described in the Act.
“With the first signs the municipalities should have activated their disaster management plans. With the situation that escalated the provincial department should have become more involved and managed the situation further. The provincial disaster management plan must be implemented as the acquisition of additional financing is crucially important. It will provide the ability to acquire a more sufficiently equipped work force as well as private security companies to suppress the riots and protect the properties and the livelihood of the citizens that are confronted by this crisis,” says Morné Mostert, AfriForum’s Manager of Local Government Affairs.
“Although citizens are mobilising themselves in this time to safeguard their respective communities due to the state’s inability to do so, it does not condone the state from failing to perform their duties. Additional support and resources must be made available to make head against the chaos,” says Marnus Kamfer, AfriForum’s Law and Risk Manager for Community Safety.