CONSUMER GOODS COUNCIL OF SOUTH AFRICA (CGCSA) STATEMENT: CURRENT SPATE OF PROTEST ACTIONS IN THE COUNTRY
The Consumer Goods Council of South Africa (CGCSA) is calling for urgent government intervention to deal with the spate of violent protests across the country which are now affecting the business operations of its members and also posing a risk to the lives of staff and consumers.
CGCSA head of Crime Risk Initiative (CRI) Abraham Nelson says while peaceful protests are a constitutional right in South Africa, the violence and destruction of property which has accompanied recent protests is a cause for concern to CGCSA members, particularly retailers. Also affected are manufacturers, shopping centres, service providers such as logistics companies. This is causing severe disruption to business which is could economic growth prospects.
He says CGCSA members have been forced to barricade their shops or close their premises to prevent damage. This has significant impact on business operations and also leads to irrecoverable financial losses. The CGCSA is of the opinion that political intervention is required to address and mitigate the current situation as this is not only a law enforcement problem but a general problem of the lack of service delivery.
On its part, CGCSA, which already has a good working relationship with the SAPS, is in constant contact with specifically the National Joint Operational Centre (NATJOC) relating to the occurrence of crime related issues in the country.
CGCSA is providing SAPS with relevant information to help the police to proactively respond to the protests, and also mitigate crime related issues facing the industry and the country. The SAPS is using the information to direct and assist with planning and operational deployment of resources. To date the CGCSA’s assistance has received positive response from SAPS although the police have limited resources to effectively respond to the current protests.
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