ANA news Agency

JOHANNESBURG - Agricultural industry body Agri SA condemned the violence and xenophobic attacks in South Africa, warning that the violence has a negative impact on the economy.

"The latest attacks on trucks and major access routes have a direct impact on the agricultural sector because inputs, perishables and other products are not delivered on time or do not reach their destination. This contributes to major losses in a country where food security is of the utmost importance," said Tommie Esterhuyse, chairperson of Agri SA Centre of Excellence.

"These attacks can deter investors to the detriment of the whole of South Africa. Economic investment is needed to put the country on a growth path. Safety in rural as well as urban areas is a prerequisite for food security, job creation and prosperity, which supports the objectives of the National Development Plan."

Widespread xenophobic violence and looting of shops have gripped Gauteng province in recent days, with at least five people killed during the mayhem. Citizens in Nigeria have reportedly retaliated by attacking South African businesses such as mobile operator MTN and supermarket chain Shoprite. 

Police said over 200 people have been arrested in Gauteng so far following the xenophobic attacks and widespread looting.

On Monday, three trucks were attacked, stoned and set alight in the Eastern Cape as South African truck drivers continued accusing foreign nationals of taking their jobs. It was not clear who called for the strike.

- African News Agency (ANA)