Recent riots, looting and general lawlessness in two of South Africa’s major metros have ignited (quite literally) and negatively affected the tech industry in the country. The incidents have been centred around KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng.
Of course, the recent actions of some South Africans have affected many businesses — large corporations have lost factories, shops, malls and refineries. But small businesses, tuck shops and family-owned businesses have also been affected. In the below list, we’ll look at some of the large tech corporations that have been adversely affected by recent riot actions.
Affec-tech in South Africa
According to a report by TechCentral, Samsung Electronics has been impacted by the recent riots in KwaZulu-Natal. The company’s distribution centre in Cato Ridge has been attacked by looters and thieves. “Samsung South Africa director Justin Hume confirmed via a text message on Tuesday that the Korean electronics giant’s operations in the province have been targeted,” the report details.
“Unfortunately, our distribution centre in Cato Ridge was attacked as well as a number of our service centres,” Hume said, according to TechCentral. “These relate to our consumer electronics ranges — for example, TVs and refrigerators.”
One of the major computer distributors in SA, Mustek, was also a victim of recent events. Looters breached the company’s head office in Durban yesterday and stole everything of value. Following the looting, Mustek’s building was set alight.
A video of the burning building circulated on social media and messenger channels claiming to be Mustek. Shortly after, TechCentral confirmed with Mustek managing director Hein Engelbrecht that it was indeed the building the company operated from.
This morning, we received news that LG Electronics’ factory located at Cornubia Industrial Park in Durban was also targeted and burnt to the ground. Looters gained access to the facility in the early hours of Tuesday and stole appliances (which are manufactured at the location) as well as boxed televisions.
“We can confirm that no workers have been injured due to the factory looting and fire. The current situation is under investigation by our executive team,” LG said to TechCentral when questioned about the attack.
Deuk Soo Ahn, president of LG South Africa, said: “We take the safety of our workers very seriously and would like to reassure South Africans that we are working as swiftly and with great caution as we investigate the impact of what occurred at our factory in Durban. It’s by no means an easy situation and we are working hard to ensure operations get back up and running.”