THE MINISTER OF Environment Barbara Creecy is hard at work with other officials at Diepkloof Square Mall, Soweto, cleaning and mopping following the looting that took place this week.
She was also joined by hundreds of community members, taxi organisations and civic representatives, in partnership with the Speaker of Council in the City of Joburg- Cllr Nonceba Molwele, Each One Teach One Foundation and Pik It Up.
Debris, broken steel fences and doors were strewn all over the mall with every shop looted and left with nothing to buy as food shortage anxiety grows in affected areas in Soweto.
The Diepkloof Square has been like a ghost town and a rubbish dump in one.
Although stability seems to have been restored, outside the only standing “the big elephant” as the locals call it, Maponya Mall, there’s visible policing from community members who when the looting began to spread, promised a body-shield to protect the mall with everything they had.
The likes of community leader Nhlanhla Lux, popular eatery owner Meli and others should be commended for taking such stance that has now brushed off to others throughout the country.
Meanwhile, industry gas supplier Afrox said on Wednesday that emergency plans are in place to deliver critical oxygen to hospitals around the country as widescale looting, blockades of major routes and attacks on emergency services are leading to shortages of integral supplies.
“Afrox is currently engaged in emergency planning to ensure deliveries can be safely undertaken and to find alternate routes to customers and hospitals as part of a flexible response to spontaneous civil unrest breaking out,” it told Fin24.
It said that while deliveries were affected in parts of Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal, and police were escorting some of its delivery trucks, it would “only operate and deliver where and when our assets and employees are safe”.
The Witness reported that vehicles were being barred from delivering much-needed oxygen intended for use by patients battling Covid-19 and other ailments, while an ambulance was burnt in Howick and another was attacked with rocks in Marriannhill in KwaZulu-Natal.
“Afrox welcomes the president’s deployment of the SANDF in support of police actions to stem looting and arson attacks on road transport vehicles which are carrying vital medical and food supplies across South Africa.”
The chaos has since led to general lawlessness and destruction of properties, temporary closure of the N3 – which connects Johannesburg to Durban – owing to the torching of trucks by looters, combined by attacks on warehouses.
Image (Lending that much needed hand. Minister of Environment Barbara Creecy partnered with other Sowetans to clean up the messed-up Diepkloof Square in Soweto this morning, following looting’s and vandalism that took place this week).