Friday, 16 July 2021

Kwazulu-Natal: Government Ministers have met with 34 Chief Executive Officers (CEOs) of South Africa’s largest companies and multinationals to discuss the crisis of sabotage, lawlessness and looting in KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng.

This follows several engagements between government and individual businesses and associations that have been taking place since the crisis in KwaZulu-Natal and parts of Gauteng erupted.

According to a statement released on Friday, the Ministers represented are from various departments, including those in the Presidency; Public Enterprises; Trade, Industry, and Competition; Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development; Small Business Development; Justice and Correctional Services and Tourism.

“The discussions were focused on the challenges faced by businesses, workers and communities in KwaZulu-Natal, and the concrete actions that are required to stabilise the province, re-establish supply chains, repair critical infrastructure and end the lawlessness,” the statement read.

Government said there is an urgent need for a far-reaching economic recovery plan for KwaZulu-Natal to rebuild factories, reopen businesses and minimise the loss of jobs, and address food shortages in particular.

Meanwhile, the Ministers are said to have briefed the CEOs on the numerous actions already being taken to respond to the economic, social, and security aspects of the crisis.

“Business provided detailed recommendations regarding areas of priority, and has agreed with government to reconvene and discuss an action plan and collaborative way forward.

“Government appreciated the support business has and will continue to give their workers and families; the work with unions, and willingness to assist small businesses to recover and receive regular supplies that will be available to local communities.”

The State believes that the collaboration between government and leading company executives will lead to further immediate actions, followed by more medium-term action plans using a “Now, Next, Beyond” approach.

“There was agreement that the immediate priority was to restore law and order, ensure the safety of our people, and respond to the availability of food and other essentials to all communities in KZN.”

Government said this will be followed by decisive action to drive recovery in the short-term and restore normality to the affected provinces.

“Finally, government and business will work together to reset South Africa for growth, restoring the confidence of our people, our industries, and our investors. We shall counter this orchestrated attack, and normalise the situation with the greatest urgency.”

Government said it has faith that South Africans have great confidence in the collective ability to lead the country to a better, brighter future for all people to enjoy a higher standard of living.

It also believes that this will lead to highly skilled youth and a vibrant social cohesion that unites all with a common purpose and a shared vision.

“We will recover from this setback. Our economy will become inclusive and vibrant.”