The planned #NationalShutdown that was expected to take the country by storm seemed to have started and ended on Twitter as it failed to take off in the real world. File Picture: Phando Jikelo/African News Agency (ANA)
The planned #NationalShutdown that was expected to take the country by storm seemed to have started and ended on Twitter as it failed to take off in the real world. File Picture: Phando Jikelo/African News Agency (ANA)

National Shutdown takes off on Twitter but falls flat in the real world

By Botho Molosankwe Time of article published Aug 23, 2021

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Johannesburg – The planned national shutdown that was expected to take the country by storm seemed to have started and ended on Twitter as it failed to take off in the real world.

While National Shutdown trended on Twitter the whole day, nationally it was business as usual in Gauteng. Learners went to school, tertiary students went to their respective institutes of higher learning, workers went to work and those who needed some therapy went to malls and shopping centres that were neither burnt nor looted.

“It is quiet today,” said Xolani Fihla, spokesperson for the Johannesburg Metro Police.

“There were no disruptions; it was just a normal day,” said Fihla.

His words were echoed by Gauteng police spokesperson Captain Mavela Masondo who said: “It has been quiet.”

In July, Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal were gripped by violence that resulted in many businesses destroyed and more than 300 people killed. The overall damage the looting had on the country was estimated to be around R50 billion.

Provincial commissioner Lieutenant-General Elias Mawela together with MEC for Community Safety Faith Mazibuko visited areas, which they suspected were hot spots, to monitor the situation in Gauteng in light of the planned shutdown and were expected to release a statement later.

On Sunday, the National Joint Operational and Intelligence Structure (NatJOINTS), which includes the police and the army, among others, said it had put measures in place to ensure the safety and security of South Africans, amid threats.

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