A year after July unrest, eThekwini businesses still in recovery

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A year after July unrest, eThekwini businesses still in recovery

The Durban Chamber of Commerce and Industry said costs so far amount to over R70 billion but this figure is expected to increase as the institution continues with its survey on the cost of the unrest.

Asif Raza, Al Barakah supermarket owner was forced to sell outside his store after the riots. Photo: Abigail Javier/Eyewitness News
  • KZN riots
  • Durban Chamber of Commerce and Industry
  • KZN looting
  • July Unrest
  • July riots

DURBAN – Thousands of businesses in eThekwini are still reeling from the devastation of last year’s civil unrest.

The Durban Chamber of Commerce and Industry said that costs so far amount to over R70 billion but this figure is expected to increase as the institution continues with its survey on the cost of the unrest.

While several enterprises in the city have resumed operations, many business owners have told Eyewitness News that it will take many years to fully recover.

READ MORE:
• ‘SA going back and not forward’: Emotional scars linger a year after July unrest
• July unrest: One year later – A look back at the riots that shook SA

Despite the challenges, however, many have expressed a determination to rebuild their lives after seeing their businesses go up in smoke.

A migrant from Pakistan Asif Raza was one of several business people who spoke to Eyewitness News after being affected by the deadly looting.

The father of two, who came to South Africa 16 years ago in search of a better, life detailed how he was back to square one after his supermarket of 12 was ransacked and then set alight.

Al Barakah supermarket was ransacked and burnt inside during the 2021 July riots. Photo: Abigail Javier/Eyewitness News

Al Barakah supermarket was ransacked and burnt inside during the 2021 July riots. Photo: Abigail Javier/Eyewitness News

A year later he said that he was still trying to rebuild his life.

“It’s very hard, it’s very very hard. After looting and all, business is not the same as it was before,” Raza said.

He said, however, that he was determined to get back on his feet for the sake of his family.

A year later, Al Barakah supermarket has recovered. Photo: Abigail Javier/Eyewitness News

A year later, Al Barakah supermarket has recovered. Photo: Abigail Javier/Eyewitness News

“We are not working for ourselves, it’s for our kids. Kids need a very nice life, nice studies, nice job and all,” Raza said.

The civil unrest occurred over a week and a few days between 9 and 18 July last year.

Government authorities are on Friday expected to outline plans and lessons learnt from the unrest.

FROM THE ARCHIVES: If you want to loot, you don’t have to burn it – KZN owner’s shop left in ashes

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