Minister in President Cyril Ramaphosa’s office, Khumbudzo Ntshavheni says about 40,000 South African businesses were looted, burnt or vandalised during widespread rioting that broke out after the jailing of ex-president Jacob Zuma.
The minister was briefing the media on the after math of the recent violent protests in some parts of South Africa.
The unrest erupted after Zuma began serving a 15-month jail term for snubbing a corruption inquiry.
According to the government, the total losses to the national economy are estimated to be 50 billion rand ($3.4 billion).
Hundreds of shopping centres and warehouses in KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng were torched and looted beginning on July 9.
She said in KZN, 161 malls and a similar number of liquor outlets and distributors were damaged, In Gauteng the damage to businesses is still being assessed.
The Minister reported that more than 200 shopping centres and 100 malls were looted or burnt, while at least 1,400 ATMs were damaged and 300 banks and post offices vandalised in the southeastern province.
At least 200 of more than 2,500 suspects have appeared in court for looting and public violence.
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