31 October 2013
Government has noted and condemns the looting of shops and goods belonging to informal traders and the destructive behavior of protestors following a march in central Cape Town yesterday. The protest to demand land and housing took a turn for the worse when groups of protestors broke away from the main crowd and engaged in criminal activities.
Government commends the South African Police Services for their quick response in arresting some of the alleged perpetrators, and has full confidence that the law will take its course.
Acting GCIS CEO, Phumla Williams, said “Whilst every citizen has the constitutional right to protest, it must be done within the ambit of the law and not infringe the rights of others. The implications of such criminal behaviour have a ripple effect on the lives of the victims.”
Government will not tolerate the destruction of small business entrepreneurship as this is the livelihood of thousands of people in the Western Cape and across the country.
“Even small informal traders contribute immensely to improving the country’s economic goals. Criminal acts of this nature create an added burden to attempts to alleviate unemployment figures. Furthermore, many families depend on the income received from both the main stream and informal trading,” said Williams.
Government reiterates that the destruction of property, looting of goods and violent acts during protests will not be tolerated as government has created platforms for engagements with communities such as Imbizos and community forums amongst others. Citizens are encouraged to engage in meaningful dialogue and fully utilize these platforms to express their views and challenges.
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Issued by: Government Communication and Information System (GCIS)