The SA Institute of Black Property Professionals (SAIBPP) called on South Africans to stand together to denounce the violence and lawlessness that has gripped the country. Simultaneously they called for “the inequality, joblessness and systemic exclusion that has relegated millions of our people to the margins of society” to be urgently addressed.
In a statement this evening, SAIBPP said it was “with a heavy heart that we reflect upon the events of the last week namely; the widespread civil unrest, rampant looting, killing and malicious damage to property that has taken place in various parts of our country under the guise of #FreeJacobZuma/#ShutDownSA protests.
“We extend our sympathies and support to the many businesses, entrepreneurs, and informal traders who form the lifeblood of the township and CBD economy and acknowledge the irreparable harm that these attacks will cause to livelihoods, families and affected communities.
“Furthermore, the forced closure of shopping centres and other key centres of economic activity has resulted in interruptions to the provision of social services and denied the millions who rely on these centres access to; infrastructure, food, and essential services such as vaccines.
“This will undoubtedly result in further job losses as many businesses will not survive deepening the already destructive impact of Covid-19 on our economy.
“While the right to protest is a right that is guaranteed to all, no one person or group has the right to kill, destroy, steal, and burn down the businesses and property of others while endangering their fellow citizens.
“These actions, we condemn in the strongest terms and appeal to political and community leaders to lead by example in quelling the unrest and supporting law enforcement agencies in their efforts to restore order.
“In times like these there are no winners or losers. We must stand together as South Africans to denounce the violence and lawlessness that has gripped our cities while simultaneously and urgently addressing the inequality, joblessness and systemic exclusion that has relegated millions of our people to the margins of society.”
Speaking to Property360 earlier Tholo Makhaola, president of the SAIBPP, says while the institute strongly condemns the actions “we cannot underestimate that some of the looting is because of the joblessness created by Covid and the lockdowns which has left people hungry and frustrated... The widespread looting and damage to property cannot be separated from the social inequalities that underlie the lack of equity and inclusion in the development of shopping centres in townships and rural areas... as result these centres become islands in a sea of poverty disconnected from the communities in which they operate.”
The SAIBPP has called on President Ramaphosa and the relevant law enforcement agencies to act swiftly in bringing to book those responsible for violating the law. “We also call on the property sector to stand together during this difficult time to help support government in minimizing further damage to property and restoring order.”
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