Two weeks ago, the greatest display of civil unrest since the Apartheid Era rocked South Africa. Protesters took to the streets following the arrest of former South African president Jacob Zuma. Zuma, who was arrested on the grounds of corruption, gained a loyal following by aligning himself with impoverished and rural populations who the South African Government notoriously overlooks. Zuma’s arrest became a flashpoint for broader frustrations with the government’s failure to deliver their promise of a democratic South Africa and the economic inequality facing underrepresented populations.
The protests quickly turned violent and resulted in looting, fires, and the destruction of shopping centers. At least a recorded number of 212 people were killed across the country, over 2,550 were arrested, and more suspects are still under surveillance, said President Cyril Ramaphosa on Friday in a televised address. The destruction occurred not only in Durban — a city where many of Zuma’s supporters reside — but in the administrative capital of Pretoria and the largest urban center, Johannesburg.
South Africa’s most vulnerable populations will be servely impacted by the riots. Unemployment, which already reached 32% due to the pandemic, will increase as the riots destroyed places of employment. The destroyed shopping centers left many without anywhere to purchase food for their families.
South Africa is now facing a double crisis: a third wave of COVID-19 with harsher lockdown requirements, and significant economic stress from the recent riots.
United Way South Africa is committed to standing with their communities and supporting those in need, in these difficult times.
“It is our duty to continue to support the local underserved communities. At United Way South Africa, we are here to help restore and repair our beautiful country.”
How can you get involved?
We are running campaigns across the country aimed at:
1. Ensuring sustainable food security
2. Responding to the humanitarian crisis
3. Supporting businesses get back on track after the looting incidents
Contact United Way South Africa on firstname.lastname@example.org or call Vicky Sepp on +27 78 618 0394.
Article source: United Way Worldwide (UWSA international Network)