Ordinary citizens deserve three cheers for their efforts to quell the rampant vandalism and looting, as well as clean-up and rebuilding efforts.
Private security companies have been crucial in limiting the damage in the Jules street area of Malvern and Jeppe in east Johannesburg, including donations of rubber bullets to the Cleveland and Jeppe police stations.
This area has fared badly in the past with xenophobic riots, and small businesses again felt the brunt of the violence. They don’t have insurance and will struggle to get back on their feet.
It is disappointing that local police have yet again been poorly equipped to handle the violence, but private security companies have done what they can to assist. Surely a simple thing like rubber bullets should have been immediately available to the police?
There should be no more talk of inhibiting private firearm ownership as this is crucial self-defence for people let down by weak state security.
I am heartened by citizen initiatives like Malvern Cleanup and Rebuild which is using social media to coordinate efforts to rehabilitate the area.
Private/public partnerships can save our country, as we are seeing with the Covid-19 vaccine rollout-out which has been boosted by efficient private sites that are now open to people not on medical aids.
The weak link is public sector incapacity and corruption, which active citizens can fix by booting out the ruling party at the next elections.