Government not ready for anarchy in South Africa

 ·28 Apr 2024

Former deputy chief of the South African Army, General Roland de Vries, warned that any trigger event around the elections could cause unrest and violence, similar to the July 2021 riots.

De Vries told Biznews that many trigger events can cause the state to lose control in specific areas, which could lead to anarchy in these areas.

He explained that the high youth unemployment, households struggling financially, and increased absolute poverty have created a dangerous environment.

“If the state finances collapsed, where it could no longer pay social grants, there will be havoc in South Africa,” he said.

This is not the only scenario that could trigger unrest and violence. Many other events, especially around the elections, could also lead to problems.

De Vries warned that the government is not well equipped to deal with these situations, which could lead to anarchy.

“Anarchy could erupt in small areas of the country and spread to create a dangerous situation in larger parts,” he said.

He said one of the major threats is criminal elements closing major roads, like the N3, preventing food from being distributed throughout the country.

“The problem in South Africa is not food security. It is when the roads are closed and stops the food from reaching people,” he said.

It is the government’s responsibility to contain outbreaks of violence. However, it may not be equipped to deal with these events.

“I am concerned about the state’s capability of pre-empting, preventing, or containing such threats,” De Vries said.

“I doubt the state can contain such threats and stabilize the environment quickly to prevent it from spreading.”

De Vries is not the only expert who is concerned about unrest and violence in South Africa. Renowned economist Dawie Roodt shares these concerns.

Roodt warned things could go very wrong in South Africa with a toxic mix of unemployment, absolute poverty, rising food prices, and a looming election.

He highlighted that South Africa has 30 million people receiving income from the state, and they rely on this money to survive.

However, the state’s finances are under severe strain, so it will spend less on these 30 million people.

Roodt said he was worried about a recurrence of the public violence and riots in KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng.

“The economy is not growing. We have high levels of unemployment and poverty, and I am concerned about public violence seen two years ago,” he said.

Pick n Pay chairman Gareth Ackerman has also previously warned that the entire food industry in South Africa is under existential threat because of load-shedding and government inaction.

“The probability of social unrest relating to food shortages and possible store closures, if blackouts get too high, is heightened,” he said.

When people struggle to get food and water, it causes severe social problems and can lead to civil unrest.

This article was first published by Daily Investor. Read the original here.

Read: Jobs bloodbath worsens in South Africa – 3,900 on the block

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