SA Riot Most Expensive In Past Decade With $1.7billion In Damages

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The July South African civil unrest has resulted in damages worth $1.7billion according to state insurance company, making it one of the most expensive in the past decade.

The riot that broke out in the Gauteng and Kwazulu-Natal province of South Africa over the imprisonment of former President Jacob Zuma caused damages worth $1.7billion (25 billion rand), News24 reports.

Over 300 people had died when more than 200 shopping centers and malls were looted in the KwaZulu Natal and Gauteng provinces when rioters pillaged shops and stole groceries, liquor, electrical appliances and clothes, according to official figures.

Factories and warehouses were also plundered and burned.

The riot further affected the South African economy as freight trucks were burned in the province affecting highways used to transport cargo from the Indian ocean ports to the rest of the country.

SA government insurance company, Sasria, responsibly for covering special risk claims has asked the government to help in covering the cost of claims, including businesses and individuals that suffered damages during the unrest.

Sasria executives addressed the country’s Parliament on Wednesday requesting a financial bailout from the state to cover the shortfall it will face in settling all claims.

Cedric Masondo, managing director of Sasria, said that claims linked to the local unrest in July could amount to between R20 billion and R25 billion, according to News24.

The riot was set off by Zuma’s arrest over refusal to comply with a Constitutional Court order to testify at a state-backed inquiry investigating corruption allegations during his presidential term from 2009 to 2018.

Zuma was sentenced to 15 months imprisonment but this past weekend he was placed on medical parole after spending only two months at the Estcourt Correctional Center, where he mostly stayed in the prison’s medical wing.

Zuma’s corruption trial, where he is accused of receiving bribes from French arms manufacturer Thales during the country’s controversial purchase of arms in 1999, has been postponed to September 20 by mutual consent between state lawyers and his defense team.

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