Over the last week, hundreds of businesses have been looted during the unrest that was triggered by the imprisonment of former President Jacob Zuma.
Acting Minister in the Presidency Khumbudzo Ntshavheni informed that 117 people have lost their lives during violent protests which have been taking place for a week in South Africa.
So far, 26 deaths had been recorded in Gauteng province, while 91 lives were lost in KwaZulu-Natal province. According to Ntshavheni, the situation is improving in Gauteng while KwaZulu-Natal is still volatile but was slowly moving toward stability. A total of 2,203 arrests were made in both provinces.
The government was concerned over the supply chain and movement of goods from Durban and Richards Bay ports to various destinations for the main routes have been blocked by protesters.
Currently, the South African Police Service (SAPS) is providing escorts for the transportation of the supplies of oxygen, medicines, and other key goods that have to reach all parts of the country.
With regards to the deployment of 25,000 soldiers, 10,000 were on the ground as of Thursday. Over the last week, hundreds of shops and businesses were looted in Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal during the unrest, triggered by the imprisonment of former President Jacob Zuma.
South African President Cyril Ramaphosa said that the unrest, which may "have its roots in the pronouncements and activities of individuals with a political purpose and expressions of frustration and anger," has become "opportunistic acts of criminality," with groups of people instigating chaos merely as a cover for looting and theft.
Zuma, who was sentenced to 15 months in prison after being convicted of defying the Constitutional Court's order which compelled him to appear and give evidence at the State Capture Commission in February, has challenged the sentence and is waiting for the judgment.