According to official figures, since South Africa’s President, Jacob Zuma began a 15-month jail term, Seventy-two people have died and more than 1,200 people arrested.
This is following sparking protests over his arrest that swiftly turned violent.
Therefore, the South African government on Wednesday sought to deploy around 25,000 troops to curb unrest.
It is now the sixth day amid fears of food and fuel shortages as disruption to farming, manufacturing, and oil refining began to bite.
Goods and services have been impacted around the country as looting has hit supply chains and transport links in the southeastern province of KwaZulu-Natal.
As the number of troops deployed doubled, the government said 208 incidents of looting and vandalism are recorded.
Defence Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula later told parliament she had “submitted a request for deployment of plus-minus 25,000” soldiers.
Troop deployments are authorized by the president.she said.
However, she did not say when the extra troops would be on the streets.
The government had been under pressure to increase boots on the ground to quickly put a lid on the violence pummelling an already struggling economy.
According to South Africa’s consumer goods regulatory body, more than 800 retail shops had been looted.
President Cyril Ramaphosa met leaders of political parties cautioning that parts of the country may soon be running short of basic provisions following the extensive disruption of food, fuel, and medicine supply chains.
State-owned logistics operator Transnet declared a “force majeure” on Wednesday.
An emergency beyond its control — on a key rail line that links Johannesburg to the coast because of the unrest.
According to an AFP photographer, hundreds of people queued outside food stores hours before they opened,
As lines of cars also formed outside fuel stations In the port city of Durban.
South Africa’s largest refinery SAPREF shuttered its plant in Durban on Tuesday.
The plant is responsible for a third of the Country’s fuel supply.