Long winding queues are forming outside petrol stations in the greater Durban area of KwaZulu-Natal.
Several petrol stations have already reportedly run out of fuel, while others have closed for safety reasons. Corner shops and garages that are currently open are also inundated with panic buying of essential items.
From Tongaat in the north to the Durban CBD on Durban’s M4 highway, community crime prevention groups are manning the entry and exit points. They’ve been on high alert since Monday night. The petrol shortage has also left several motorists driving in circles to access not only petrol but daily household necessities like milk and bread.
Several corner shops in La Mercy, Tongaat and Verulam had large crowds wiping out their critical supplies from the early hours of the morning. As looting continues at sites in and around Durban, private security companies and community policing forums are mobilising to protect their residents. Dheven Govindasami is with a Durban-based private security company.
He says residents have had enough and are taking a stance. “We are getting looters there is not a store or garage that hasn’t been attacked and looted, stampedes and have seen a few killings. It’s hectic here on the ground.
I am glad to see communities at large in Chatsworth, Phoenix, Isipingo, Merebank have had enough,” says Govindasami. KwaZulu-Natal Premier Sihle Zikalala says 26 people have lost their lives in the violent protest over Jacob Zuma’s incarceration and looting sprees in the province in the past few days.
Addressing a virtual media conference, Zikalala warned that the province must not descend into its violent past. Political violence in the 1990s saw scores killed in the province.
“These episodes of violence are inflicting many lasting scars. The latest fatalities confirmed by the security cluster in KZN is standing at 26 these were people that were killed in stampedes as protestors ran riot. As of last night law enforcement agencies have arrested 187 suspects,” says Zikalala.