DA calls on SANDF to protect major routes to allow shops to re-stock
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Cape Town - The official opposition has called on government to deploy soldiers on major routes to protect infrastructure and open up roads that would allow shops and businesses to re-stock.
Democratic Alliance leader John Steenhuisen warned on Thursday that KwaZulu-Natal was running out of food and medicines, and the South African National Defence Force must be used to protect the transportation of these essential services.
He said many businesses would need to re-stock but they would not be able to do this without the help of the army.
“The next big crisis will be the threat to food security in KZN - along with the supply of medication and fuel - and protecting these supply chains must be a priority of the SANDF deployment,” said Steenhuisen.
“With warehouses, bakeries and distribution centres looted or destroyed throughout the province, it is impossible to re-supply supermarkets and shops locally. And with trucks still being looted and burnt on the major arterial roads in the province, these supplies cannot reach the shops from elsewhere,” he said.
He said the SANDF must protect major routes and highways to ensure the safe passage of food, medicines, fuel and other essential services and goods.
Defence Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula will visit KwaZulu-Natal on Wednesday, following days of looting in the province.
Acting Minister in the Presidency Khumbudzo Ntshavheni also confirmed that Minister of Cooperative Governance Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma was in KZN to calm the situation.
This follows the deployment of several ministers in Gauteng on Wednesday.
Mapisa-Nqakula appeared before the joint standing committee on defence where she told MPs that they had deployed 25 000 members of the army in KZN and Gauteng.
The defence minister said she would be travelling to KZN after having met other leaders of political parties.
She said that while initially they had put 2 000 members on the ground, there was a call to increase the number. This led to the deployment of 25 000.