kzn gauteng riots latest food security

Woolworths store in Fourways, Gauteng after the recent riots. Photo: Supplied

PICTURES: Public begin panic buying as riots threaten food security

Stores and petrol stations were flooded with concerned members of the public on Tuesday with food supply chains threatened by the riots.

kzn gauteng riots latest food security

Woolworths store in Fourways, Gauteng after the recent riots. Photo: Supplied

With President Cyril Ramaphosa warning that riots in KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) and Gauteng will soon threaten food and healthcare supply chains, members of the public have begun panic buying at retailers tat remain open on Tuesday. 

Images are surfacing online of store shelves being emptied out by concerned residents, who fear that the continued road blockages and torching of trucks by looters. 

Panic buying begins  

During his second consecutive address to the nation on Monday 12  July, Ramaphosa warned that the sustained disruption to supply chains that ensure the delivery of essential food and medical products is quickly going to lead to dire shortages. 

“[The violent riots] started with the burning of trucks at Mooi River on Saturday, and was followed by the blockading of roads and looting of shops in the north of KZN,” he said. “Our sick cannot get help from pharmacies, food doesn’t reach shelves, and health workers cannot get to work. We are facing food and medication insecurity within a matter of weeks.”

On Tuesday afternoon, images emerged on Twitter of various supermarkets with empty shelves as people begin worrying about whether there will be food available in the coming days. Petrol stations in Gauteng also found themselves inundated with concerned members of the public.

Woolworths store in Fourways, Gauteng. Photo: Supplied
Petrol stations are also being swarmed in Gauteng. Photo: Supplied

Factories stop production  

Earlier on Tuesday, the Durban Chamber of Commerce and Industry said the threat to food security is under serious threat due to the riots.

“This disruptive activity is damaging to the economic infrastructure, the threat on food security should be taken very seriously. Producers of essential foods have now decided to temporarily shut down,” its deputy president Gladwin Malishe told the African News Agency (ANA).

“Their on-site factories have had to stop production, due to the non-movement of stock from Friday.”

“The logistics sector as it stands has been hit severely hard. The number of trucks that have been burnt over the past three-days, have caused other business owners in the industry to ground their trucks, for the safety of their employees and the protection of their businesses,” he said.