Churches call for money recovered in State Capture to assist businesses decimated by riots
Share this article:
The South African Council of Churches (SACC) has called on the government to establish a restoration fund from the proceeds of money recovered from State Capture to aid small businesses decimated by riots in KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng.
The SACC has also condemned the looting and riots in Gauteng and KZN, calling on those who were behind the coordinated plot to destabilise the country to stop.
Some of the companies that have repaid the gains of State Capture include McKinsey - R870m, Trillian - R600m, China South Rail - R618m, ABB - R1.56bn, with over R1 trillion yet to be recovered.
SACC general secreattary Bishop Malusi Mpumlwana said the riots had hollowed out malls and infrastructure, adding that the country now stood on the debris of brokenness.
He said thousands of people would lose their jobs in the aftermath of the riots and he called on the government to intensify efforts to find work for poor, marginalised and unemployed South Africans.
Mpumlwana said the proceeds of funds recovered from the sin of State Capture, should be used to develop a restoration fund, which would assist small businesses that were unable to benefit from insurance payouts due to missing payments because of the pandemic.
“We need to assist people to get back on their feet,” said Mpumlwana.
“We are aware of the loss for small business - many small businesses may have been behind on their insurance payments with the current situation of Covid-19, we need to provide them with support from such a restoration initiative.
“Where will the money come from? We believe that the looted money of State Capture must be used for the restoration of society.
“There is already money recovered from the sin of State Capture, we need to use that money to compensate for this looting for the development and sustenance of small businesses.
“Such a fund can be the beginning,” said Mpumlwana, who added that their must be economic transformation which would enhance human dignity and quality of life for most South Africans.
He also said the government should work with social welfare organisations to ensure that destitute groups were aided with food.
Reflecting on the riots, he said: “We stand in the debris of brokenness, malls are hollowed out.
“We stand in the midst of the brokenness of hope for families that put their live savings into their small businesses,” he said.
Mpulwana called on people to stop looting and said the acts of those behind the riots were aimed at fomenting insurrection.
“Looting for food is one thing, as unacceptable as it is, but burning speaks to opportunism and insurrection.
“We call on the perpetrators to stop it, we insist this can be stopped and it must be stopped.
“Indeed, we see the pain of what happened in Alexandra and Soweto.
“Small businesses such as Lucky Lekgwathi’s restaurant are symbolic of what has happened,” he said.
Mpumlwana said the country should also chart restoration drive in society led by faith groups, business, trade unions and civil society. He said the riots had broken the fabric of society and this needed a sustained restoration drive to undo.
“This will require a restoration drive that our community leaders will need to engage seriously.
“Many people have been saying this is not us, this is not South Africa, but the reality is, that this is the South Africa we have now.
“The restoration campaign has already begun, community leaders are mobilising against looting of their infrastructure and mop up operations like at Ndofaya Mall, Meadowlands have begun.
“We need leaders of all faiths, businesses, trade unions to chart a path of restoration to reclaim the soul of South Africa.
“South Africa will be built from the ashes,” he said.