While violence in different South African cities have entered their seventh day, the number of military personnel to assist police has increased tenfold.
A week after the outbreak of riots and looting in parts of KwaZulu Natal and Gauteng, the situation remains explosive. The government has therefore expanded the number of soldiers on their feet from 2,500 to 25,000.
However, all reserve groups have been asked to make available for all security. This means that for the first time in South Africas democratic history, all the armed forces are on standby.
In addition to protecting people and businesses, the opposition wants the men to be used to protect the main roads around trouble spots so that cities like Durban can be stocked. Currently, in South Africas largest port city, there is a shortage of everything from food and medicine to gasoline.
The result: miles of petrol pump cars, where fuel scarcity allows you to refuel up to 15 litres, and supermarkets rows.
Meanwhile, the registered death toll in the two provinces stands to 117. “My heart is breaking when it comes to seeing the increasing number of bodies on the street. Our people slaughter each other,” said a Durban resident. She describes her day: “I tried with man and power to get food for friends. After four hours in line, I was able to buy some cans.”
Dutch Dutch ambassador to South Africa, Han Peters, in a letter advised the Dutch people staying in trouble spots to stay at home and calm.
“Follow the news and dont go to places where there are big crowds or where things are restless,” he writes. “If you want to leave, think of family and friends living in safe areas, for example. In many parts of South Africa, the situation is normal.”