The government was caught by surprise as marauding mobs caused damage estimated at R15bn to businesses and a loss of about 200,000 jobs in KZN, but it hopes that consultations and a 25,000-strong troop deployment might douse the flames of the insurrection.
Defence Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula was praised by MPs when she told a parliamentary portfolio committee on Wednesday that the SA National Defence Force (SANDF) will increase its deployment to trouble spots to 25,000. This is the SANDF's biggest deployment since 1994, according to Darren Olivier, director at African Defence Review.
He pointed out on Twitter that this number "means reaching to the very back of the cupboard and taking everything that can move, no matter the cost or sustainability. It leaves nothing in reserve & halts all other SANDF duties & commitments. It's a reflection of just how desperate things are."
Some opposition MPs have requested a deployment of 75,000, which was a number incorrectly mentioned before as the deployment during the Level 5 lockdown, but Mapisa-Nqakula said 25,000 was a compromise and up from the 10,000 troops the...