July 22 Rebuilding the City will take a collective effort by Mfana Msibi
The public unrest experienced in the province recently has changed the economic trajectory of the City, adversely affecting the livelihoods of many. Since these violent incidents begun many businesses were looted and destroyed. Sadly, this violence was also accompanied by the loss of life. We covey our condolences to the families of the deceased and wish those who were injured a speedy recovery.
As the leadership of the Municipality, we condemn the violence that engulfed the City. We call on all communities to come together as we embark on a journey of rebuilding the City. We must commend law enforcement agencies for their sterling work in stabilising the City. Our appreciation also goes out to the Emergency and Fire Services for saving many lives. The looting and destruction of businesses has resulted in many people being unable to work and provide for their families. Many residents face a shortage of basic goods.
We would like to express our gratitude to donors who have extended their hand to assist struggling families by providing basic food items. At the same time, we urge shop owners to not inflate their food prices. We will be working closely with the Department of Economic Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs to address the issue of price inflation. We must acknowledge communities who rose to the occasion by protecting their businesses and infrastructure within the ambit of the law.
This has demonstrated what can be achieved when communities form a united front against crime. We encourage community crime fighting structures to always uphold the rule of law when protecting their neighbourhoods. It is unfortunate that this unrest has also resulted in racial tensions in communities such as Phoenix, Inanda, Hillcrest, Pinetown, Durban North, New Germany, Isiphingo, Montclair and Amanzimtoti. We have visited all these communities and engaged with the various leadership structures. Our meetings have been fruitful where it was collectively agreed upon to denounce racism and racial profiling at check points that were erected to keep criminals at bay.
The communities also pledged to work with the City to rebuild the economy. As part of the reconstruction and rebuilding process the City has undertaken, we have embarked on an inspection drive to assess the damage caused by the unrest to businesses and infrastructure. During this process, we have observed that in some communities the business infrastructure such as shopping malls and major retail stores are still intact.
We want to assure the business sector in the Municipality that we are on top of the situation and are ready and able to rebuild the City and the local economy. We invite eThekwini residents to help our City rise from the ashes. Volunteers have led the way by cleaning their communities. We urge others to join them as this is in our collective interest. The task of rebuilding the City requires unity of purpose. So let us work together.