South Africa considers expanding troop deployment in the country

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South African National Defence Force (SANDF) members arrive at the Rand Light Infantry on 23 March 2020 in Johannesburg. President Cyril Ramaphosa has announced a three-week national lockdown on Monday evening, saying the army would patrol the streets along with the police to ensure the lockdown is respected. Photo: Gallo Images/ Dino Lloyd
South African National Defence Force (SANDF) members arrive at the Rand Light Infantry on 23 March 2020 in Johannesburg. President Cyril Ramaphosa has announced a three-week national lockdown on Monday evening, saying the army would patrol the streets along with the police to ensure the lockdown is respected. Photo: Gallo Images/ Dino Lloyd

The South African government was considering proposals to deploy more troops to the areas affected by civil unrest in KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) and Gauteng, the Presidency said on Wednesday.

“President Ramaphosa welcomed proposals made by political leaders and said expanded deployment of the South African National Defence Force was being addressed,” said a statement.

The statement came after President Cyril Ramaphosa held an online engagement on Wednesday with leaders of political parties represented in the National Assembly in an effort to find solutions to the ongoing unrest that has gripped the country for almost a week over Jacob Zuma’s imprisonment.

The meeting was part of a series of consultations undertaken by the president in the past two days with different sectors of society to develop a society-wide response to the current outbreaks of public violence and economic damage.

In the meeting, Ramaphosa said if the situation remained like this for longer, people could run out of basic necessities.

“The President also cautioned that several areas of the country may soon be running short of basic provisions following the extensive disruption of food, fuel and medicine supply chains,” the statement said.

Leaders of political parties characterized the situation in the country as an attack on the democratic order that required a multifaceted response in the long term, in view of deep levels of unemployment and poverty. Enditem

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