The unrest that sprang up in KwaZulu-Natal in the wake of former president Jacob Zuma’s imprisonment and quickly morphed into rampant looting and destruction of property across vast swathes of the country will have economy-wide implications that will start to become apparent in the coming weeks.

At the time of writing, the Port of Durban as well as long stretches of the N3 toll route between eThekwini and Johannesburg remained shut. SA Petroleum Refineries (Sapref), which accounts for about 35% of SA’s fuel needs, had also ceased operations. Meanwhile, across the greater eThekwini metropole and along the N3 corridor all the way to Pietermartizburg, dozens of shops, factories and warehouses stood damaged or looted...

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