A man walks past closed shops on Helen Joseph Street after looting in parts of the city. Picture: Karen Sandison/African News Agency(ANA)
DURBAN - Johannesburg businesses were affected by the looting and destruction of their shops this past week. 

The looting started last week in Pretoria when several shops were burnt and robbed after an apparent shooting of taxi driver by a drug dealer. 

Businesses in the Johannesburg would certainly be affected due to the loss of stock and the destruction of their property. 

Commenting on the incident, the Chief Executive of the Johannesburg Chamber of Commerce and Industry Joan Warburton-McBride said that they believe that the malicious attacks on and the destruction of any business will have severe implications for our already fragile economy and will certainly have dire consequences for any form of future business investment.

She said, "Business votes with its cheque book". 

Warburton-McBride added, the role of Government, in general, is to provide a safe, secure macro environment in which the business community can operate. Without conditions conducive to business there can be no economic growth or job creation.

The Mayor of Johannesburg Herman Mashaba also commented on the looting incidents in a statement. 

In his statement, Mashaba said, "These acts of looting are nothing but pure criminality and although it is said the criminals are targeting foreign-owned businesses, we are aware that local business owners are also affected". 

Business Unity South Africa (BUSA) said that they will be meeting with Police Minister Bheki Cele at his earliest convenience to discuss a coordinated response to the wave of attacks on businesses that have taken place in recent days.

"We are gravely concerned at the increase in random attacks of violence against businesses, big and small, in Johannesburg and Tshwane. We want to explore ways in which we can stamp out this current wave of lawlessness and attacks on business and traders," said BUSA President Sipho Pityana.

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