Ramaphosa to address South Africa on Friday evening

President Cyril Ramaphosa will address the nation on Friday evening (16 July) about the violent protests and looting which took place in Gauteng and KwaZulu Natal this week.

In a media briefing on Friday afternoon, acting minister in the presidency Khumbudzo Ntshavheni said that the briefing will take place at 20h30.

The address comes after Ramaphosa made an oversight visit to eThekwini in KwaZulu-Natal to survey the damage in the province and observe the deployment of SAPS, and SANDF security forces.

In the seven days of the unrest, 95 people lost their lives. Beyond this, billions of rands of damage were inflicted on the KZN economy when businesses and infrastructure were looted and razed in fires, the president said.

“People are now going to go forward having lost jobs and the economic damage that has been done,” he said.

“The country’s image as an economic destination had been severely dented, not just to local investors but also to external investors. “We’ve really been taken backwards on our path to economic recovery.”

Ramaphosa said that the government could also have done better in managing its response to the protests.

“Primary in the minds of the Minister of Police and commanders was to save lives, to make sure that we did not get into a situation which could have resulted in more mayhem,” he said.

“We regret that the situation has resulted in this. This is not what we want to see in our country.”

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