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South Africa has a huge role to play in the security cl...

South Africa

ANC POLICY CONFERENCE

Rise in terrorism and social unrest necessitates more investment in SA’s security cluster, says David Mahlobo

Deputy minister of human settlements David Mahlobo at the 6th ANC National Policy Conference held at Nasrec on 30 July 2022. (Photo: Felix Dlangamandla / Daily Maverick)

The ANC peace and stability policy discussions have raised concerns about the rise in terrorism in the SADC region. The party believes that while South Africa is quite stable, terrorism remains an issue of concern.

“The issue of strengthening the African Union peace and security architecture is an important element. We have noted the issue of the rise in terrorism that has caused a lot of displacement of our communities. We are calling for peace and stability and South Africa has an important role to silence the guns and make sure that there is peace in the SADC region.”

These were the words of the party’s chairperson for peace and stability David Mahlobo addressing the media at the ANC’s National Policy Conference held in Nasrec, Johannesburg in South Africa. 

President Cyril Ramaphosa is the Chairperson of the SADC organ on Politics, Defence and Security Cooperation and has played a role in the peacekeeping mission in Cabo Delgado in extending the South African army mission against Mozambique rebels. 

Yet still, South Africa is facing a rise in terrorism that Mahlobo has pinned to a decline in the investment in the security cluster. He said the security cluster crisis is a global phenomenon as a result of converging issues.

“The assessment of the global location has reconfirmed geopolitical tensions that we face are pushing the world to an edge and humanity and our existence as a community is under threat. Compounded by the already existing issues of Covid-19, economic downturns and migration, the Russia-Ukraine conflict is also adding to the list of issues; affecting food and security as well as the overall cost of living in the African continent.”

Mahlobo warned that the ongoing socioeconomic challenges of unemployment and the soaring cost of living may lead to social unrest in South Africa.

“We want to admit that any possibility of other unrest might arise because of the conditions our people find themselves in and the possibility of counter-revolutionaries to abuse and exploit the position our people find themselves in.”

On Saturday night, 30 July 2022, six were left dead and one wounded after a shootout in Mariannhill, west of Durban, KwaZulu-Natal. On 29 July eight women were allegedly assaulted and gang-raped at gunpoint in West Village, Krugersdorp.

The weekend tuckshop shootings are the most recent in what has come to be a regular occurrence in recent weeks. At least 23 people were shot dead in or around taverns across South Africa in July.

Mahlobo said South Africa remains relatively stable but terrorism remains an issue of concern.

“We are not worried about any terror attempt but we are saying that South Africa can’t be used as a haven in terms of planning, recruitment and financing terror organisations.”

Mahlobo said the ANC is calling for the strengthening of multilateral institutions in dealing with the issue of terrorism and more investments in the security cluster to deal with corruption. DM

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