Cape Town – South Africans from all walks of life are taking to social media to start or join groups to begin cleaning up and rebuilding towns affected by the violence and looting seen across the provinces of KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng in the past few days.
The outpouring of concern by ordinary South Africans on social media platforms who have offered to volunteer time and resources to those businesses and people affected by the civil unrest has led to a number of organisations and NGOs developing plans to assist.
According to social media reports, clean-up efforts have already begun in the town of KwaMashu, about 12km north of Durban.
“KwaMashu clean up the mess has started, let other places follow, yes with tears running, we have no choice, we can’t allow this to consume us alive. Will you be joining to clean up the mess in our community,” one Facebook user posted in a group on the social media app.
Margaret Hirsch, the executive director of the mega appliance store Hirsch’s, posted on Facebook that they have begun clearing up the mess at Hirsch's Homestore Springfield Park and they are ready to rebuild and return to serving their community.
In a statement issued on Wednesday, the Facebook group Rebuild South Africa, which was started by volunteers wishing to assist those physically, psychologically or otherwise harmed by the violence, said it already has more than 22,000 members.
They further said that the Rebuild SA initiative is not associated with any government entity.
The hashtag #CleanUpSA has also gained traction on Twitter as ordinary South Africans share contacts and skills to restore some sort of order in what has been the country’s worst few days of civil unrest since the dawn of democracy in SA.
According to an African News Agency report, in KwaZulu-Natal, where protests first broke out last week against the jailing of former president Jacob Zuma for contempt of court, residential areas were protected by makeshift barricades quickly strung together by community members and private security companies to prevent violent protesters from causing further destruction.
African News Agency (ANA)