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Don’t panic buy, says Ramaphosa

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South Africa has no shortage of food or supplies, President Cyril Ramaphosa said emphasising that there was no need to panic buy.

President Cyril Ramaphosa addressing the nation on the measures to restore order and stability in parts of KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng at the Union Buildings. Supplied: Siyabulela Duda/GCIS (11/07/2021)

Tarryn-Leigh Solomons

President Cyril Ramaphosa has emphasised that there is no need to panic buy amid the current looting crisis the country is faced with.

Several agricultural organisations have raised concerns about food shortages as more than 800 shops were looted, livestock was stolen, sugarcane burned, trucks looted and torched while transporting fresh produce to markets, to name a few.

“I want to emphasise that there is no shortage of food or supplies in most parts of the country, and that panic buying will only worsen the situation,” the president said.

Steady progress is being made to secure logistics infrastructure which includes the reopening of the N3 freeway between eThekwini and Gauteng and security forces are in place to keep vital supply routes open; security forces are working with business to ensure the safe transport of fuel, food, oxygen, pharmaceuticals, chemicals and other critical supplies; operations at the ports of Durban and Richards Bay are being restored to enable the resumption of exports and imports; and regulations have been issued in terms of the Competition Act to enable firms involved in the supply of essential goods to share information about the availability and demand for certain goods.

This is to help prevent shortages of essential goods and promote the equitable distribution of scarce essential goods across the country.

On calls for declaring a state of emergency, Ramaphosa said while the appeal is understandable given the extent of disorder, the government’s view is that a state of emergency should only be declared when all other means of stabilising the situation have shown to be inadequate.

“A state of emergency would allow a drastic limitation of the basic rights contained in our Constitution, which no responsible government would want to do unless it was absolutely necessary.”

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