The death toll from the unrest in South Africa has risen to 212. A total of 1,692 people were arrested in connection with looting and violence.

President Cyril Ramaphosa addressed the nation on Friday evening on the security situation in parts of KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng. 

Ramaphosa's address follows his visit to KwaMashu in Durban on Friday morning to asses the damage caused by violence and looting in the area. His visit was the first time the president was on the ground after days of looting left key retail centres, harbours, warehouses, industrial parks and businesses in ruins. 

Friday’s address would be Ramaphosa’s third to the nation this week. His last address on Monday, where he pleaded with the perpetrators of violence to stop, had little effect as the looting and unrest continued in various parts of Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal. 

On Friday, Ramaphosa told crowds at KwaMashu that the attacks on key shopping malls and warehouses were well orchestrated. 

"It is quite clear that all these incidents of unrest and looting were instigated; there were people who planned it and co-ordinated it,” he said. He did not name the instigators.

Police have arrested over 2,200 people in connection to the violence while 117 have died since the riots began.

The turmoil in the two provinces had calmed down by Thursday after law enforcement increased boots on the ground and 25,000 (from an initial 2,500) members of the military were deployed to hotspot areas  in the key two provinces and other provinces as well to quell the unrest.

maekot@businesslive.co.za

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