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President consults leaders of political parties on public violence and economic sabotage

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President Cyril Ramaphosa has told the leaders of South Africa’s political parties that government is intensifying its efforts and working in partnership with civil society to stem public violence affecting various parts of the country.

The President held an online engagement today with leaders of political parties represented in the National Assembly, including the African National Congress, Democratic Alliance, Inkatha Freedom Party, United Democratic Movement, Freedom Front Plus, Congress of the People, African Christian Democratic Party, the Good Party, Al-Jamah, the African Transformation Movement, National Freedom Party and the Pan Africanist Congress.

Today’s meeting was part of a series of consultations undertaken by the President in the past two days with different sectors of society to develop a society-wide response to the current outbreaks of public violence and economic damage.

The President said the destruction witnessed by the nation hurt all South Africans, not only those in the affected areas, and it hurt the poor, the elderly and the vulnerable the most.

The President also cautioned that several areas of the country may soon be running short of basic provisions following the extensive disruption of food, fuel and medicine supply chains.

Minister of Defence and Military Veterans Ms Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula and Chief of the South African National Defence Force General Rudzani Maphwanya briefed the leaders of political parties on the deployment of the SANDF at key commercial centres in KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng.

Leaders of political parties characterised the situation in the country as an attack on the democratic order that required a multifaceted response in the long term, in view of deep levels of unemployment and poverty.

However, leaders said current conditions called for an immediate restoration of calm and order in communities, enabled by expanded deployment of the South African National Defence Force as a deterrent to violence and other forms of lawlessness.

Leaders urged that major transport routes be secured by to allow fuel, food, medical supplies and other necessities to reach communities and that the 9pm-4am curfew be strictly enforced.

The political leaders called for greater coordination among the police, the national defence force, intelligence agencies, private security services and community-based safety structures.

President Ramaphosa welcomed proposals made by political leaders and said expanded deployment of the South African National Defence Force was being addressed.

The President noted the initiative taken by leaders of political parties to visit affected communities and said the presence of political leadership in communities at a time like this was welcome and necessary.

Party leaders submitted that while political differences existed, the situation in the country demanded that South Africans come together to save lives and protect democracy.

Leaders said critical assessments would be needed in future to assess how government and the country performed during this difficulty.

Media enquiries: Tyrone Seale, Acting Spokesperson to the President –

Issued by: The Presidency