Here’s why government is destroying recovered looted items

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Acting Minister in the Presidency Khumbudzo Ntshavheni briefed the media on Tuesday on the government’s intervention to rebuild the economy, following the horrific riots and looting in KZN and Gauteng.

She mentioned that R1.5 billion in stock was lost in KZN alone and so this begs the question, what then happens to all the looted items that were recovered by police?

While recovered goods will be used for evidence in investigations regarding looting, they will also be destroyed, Ntshavheni said. She explained that if those goods have a chance to circulate, they will diminish the value of other goods.

ASSESSING THE DAMAGE
Apart from recovered items, Ntshavheni said 161 malls, 11 warehouses and eight factories were affected and 161 liquor outlets and distributors were damaged. Over 200 shopping centres were looted and damaged.

More than 150 000 jobs are now also at risk in KZN, 50 000 informal traders have been affected and 40 000 businesses were affected by the SA riots. Ntshavheni went on to say that 1 400 ATMs were damaged, 300 banks and Post Office outlets were vandalised and 90 pharmacies were damaged.

The estimated loss for the KZN GDP is in the region of a whopping R20 billion.

“The recovered goods will be destroyed and why you destroy them is because those goods if circulated in the markets, they diminish the value of other goods so we cannot afford to collapse the economy by circulating stolen goods so they have to be destroyed in line with police, it’s part of managing the goods that are in the country,” she said.

“We cannot allow the circulation of recovered goods because it will destroy the economy. Imagine if your laptop that you bought for R8 000 becomes available in the streets for R1 000, what it will do to the economy of the country,” she added.

“Over 100 malls were burnt or had significant fire damage and approximately 3 000 stores were looted. In KZN alone, it is estimated that stock to the value of R1.5 billion has been lost,” she said.

“SAPOA will later in the week collate data on the cost of damage in Gauteng. However, SASRIA will conduct an assessment on the full extent of the damage,” she said.

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