Flash Briefing: SA boosts troops to 25,000 to quash riots; WHO warns SA of Covid surge after riots; Santam
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Flash Briefing: SA boosts troops to 25,000 to quash riots; WHO warns SA of Covid surge after riots; Santam

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  • South Africa mustered its army reserves in a bid to quell several days of looting that has ravaged supplies of food and other essentials and dealt a crippling blow to its economy. The disorder slowly began to ebb across most affected provinces on Thursday before an expected surge in soldiers on the streets. The soldiers were expected in the hotspots of KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng provinces, where the police and the army have been battling the disorder for days. Troops in the provinces of KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng will be boosted to 25,000 from about 5,000, following a discussion between the government and opposition parties.
  • The World Health Organisation’s Africa director has warned that South Africa should prepare itself for a surge in coronavirus cases following the widespread rioting and looting that has occurred in the two most populous provinces. The deadliest and most widespread unrest since the end of apartheid has been raging since July 10. The looting sprees have occurred amid the country’s third and most severe wave of Covid-19 infections. “We are concerned about the last three or so days of rioting in some parts of South Africa as it may exacerbate the situation of a very severe wave,” Matshidiso Moeti, the WHO’s Africa director, said on a conference call. “The government has to brace itself, and we in the WHO will be preparing to see an increase in the cases again.”
  • Santam says the recent spate of looting and destruction to property could have long-term implications on the cost of insurance and investor confidence in South Africa. Although Santam does not provide cover for riots, strike actions and public disorder, like other short-term insurers, it will assist clients and intermediaries with their claims to state-owned insurance company Sasria, which deals with claims related to unrest. The looting comes as Santam continues with payments of Covid-19 lockdown related contingent business interruption (CBI) claims. The insurer said 60% of its policyholders have submitted claims and it has paid out R600 million since January 2021.

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