“It’s Basic Economics”: South Africa Defends Decision To Destroy Recovered Looted Goods
The South African government has defended its decision to destroy all the recovered looted goods saying that it is basic economics.
This follows massive backlash from South Africans on social media platforms. Most South Africans did not take well to the news that the government has called for all the recovered goods which had been looted to be destroyed.
They called on President Cyril Ramaphosa’s government to come up with a more equitable solution in handling the aftermath of the looting. Some suggested that the government should donate the recovered goods to orphanages and charities instead of destroying them. Others suggested that the recovered goods should be auctioned off and sold to the highest bidder instead of being destroyed.
However, South Africa’s government dismissed all these suggestions saying that they would hurt the economy.
Acting Minister in the Presidency Khumbudzo Ntshavheni said that destroying the looted goods which have been recovered is an issue of basic economics. She insisted that any other action apart from destroying the goods would distort the market and harm South Africa’s economy.
Ntshaveni went on to say that the looted goods which have been recovered are now comparable to counterfeit goods. Counterfeit goods are always destroyed when they are discovered by law enforcement officials.
Explaining the Presidency’s position on the matter, Ntshavheni said,
“Our people do not understand the things that affect the economy. The stolen goods are no different from counterfeit products and that is why we destroy them,” said Ntshavheni.
“If the goods are stolen, it means the manufacturers of those goods are not going to generate an income from them that enables them to pay employees and continue with their businesses.
“That money is also lost to the tax department because nobody is going to pay tax from auctioned or donated looted goods.
“When stolen goods are destroyed you are making sure the manufacturers can make replacement products and make them available in the market. The country benefits in terms of tax and companies continue to operate and pay salaries for their workers. That is basic economics,” she added.
South Africa was rocked by protests which degenerated into violence and looting. The looting mainly occured in the provinces of KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng.
The protests were sparked by the arrest of former president Jacob Zuma. The 79-year-old is serving a 15-month jail sentence handed to him by the Constitutional Court for contempt of court.
At least 212 people are reported to have died while over 2 000 others have been arrested.
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