I’ve been encouraged to hear some of SA’s mainstream businesses, including retailers, speaking of restocking and in some cases rebuilding stores in the aftermath of the protests that quickly spilt into rampant criminality. With the country’s unemployment crisis expected to deepen in KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng, the two most populous provinces, the commitment by big business to rebuild is important.

Using the expanded definition of unemployment that includes those discouraged from seeking work, 43.2% of SA’s labour force was without work in the January-March quarter, according to Stats SA. That figure is likely to increase further after the recent unrest and will worsen socioeconomic conditions and widen inequality...

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