Neil Gopal, CEO of the South African Property Owners Association (SAPOA) is calling for punitive and decisive action following this weekend’s spate of unrest across South Africa.
“SAPOA strongly condemns the incidents of looting and malicious damage to retail property centres. SAPOA further points out that this maliciousness and damage to infrastructure and other property is only going to further exacerbate the country’s socio-economic challenges, the broader financial impact of the looting and property destruction undermines the country’s economic confidence, and it will, likely, result in a greater economic downturn” he says.
“It is deplorable. While people have the right to protest, they do not have the right to destroy property and to steal. We recognise and respect the rights of every South African to protest peacefully and freely express their views on any matter of concern, our constitution affords us that right. However, these protesters must respect the rights of others”.
“Our police services are being overwhelmed and are ill equipped to deal with the magnitude, scale and nature of the violence and destruction that is happening around us. We are pleased that the Presidency has deployed the South African National Defence Force to help curb the situation and for those who have been arrested to feel the full might of the law” he concludes.