“It’s Basic Economics”: South Africa defends the decision to destroy stolen goods
The South African government has defended its decision to destroy all recovered loot on the grounds that it was a fundamental economic issue.
This follows massive backlash from South Africans on social media platforms. Most South Africans did not take the news that the government had demanded the destruction of all stolen goods.
They called on President Cyril Ramaphosa’s government to find a fairer solution to deal with the aftermath of the looting. Some suggested that the government donate the recovered goods to orphanages and charities instead of destroying them. Others suggested auctioning the recovered goods and selling them to the highest bidder instead of destroying them.
However, the South African government rejected all of these proposals, saying they would harm the economy.
Acting Minister of the Presidency, Khumbudzo Ntshavheni, said the destruction of the stolen goods that were recovered was a matter of fundamental economic issues. She insisted that any action other than the destruction of the goods would distort the market and damage the South African economy.
Ntshaveni said the stolen goods that were found are now comparable to counterfeit goods. Counterfeit goods are destroyed whenever they are discovered by law enforcement agencies.
Explaining the Presidency’s position on the matter, Ntshavheni said:
“Our people don’t understand what affects the economy. The stolen goods are no different from counterfeit products, so we destroy them, ”said Ntshavheni.
“If the goods are stolen, it means that the manufacturers of those goods will not generate any income from them that will allow them to pay employees and continue their business.
“This money is also being lost to the tax office, because nobody will pay taxes for auctioned or donated looted goods.
“By destroying stolen goods, you ensure that manufacturers can produce substitute products and make them available on the market. The country benefits from the taxes and the companies continue to work and pay their workers salaries. That’s basic economics, ”she added.
South Africa was rocked by protests that turned into violence and looting. The looting took place mainly in the provinces of KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng.
The protests were triggered by the arrest of former President Jacob Zuma. The 79-year-old is serving a 15-month prison sentence awarded by the Constitutional Court for disregarding the court.
At least 212 people were reported to have died and over 2,000 others were arrested.
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