Press Release

The United Nations in South Africa commits to supporting KwaZulu-Natal in its rebuilding efforts following recent deadly unrest

31 July 2021

  • During engagements with eThekwini Municipality, Councillor Weziwe Thusi hailed the UN as a key partner bringing hope through its local and global expertise to restore livelihoods, improve access to critical public services and promote social cohesion, including the participation of young people in building back better. The scale of the destruction was laid bare on a visit to Isipingo, where numerous local businesses were devastated during the unrest.  

Pretoria – United Nations agencies in South Africa, led by Resident Coordinator, Ms. Nardos Bekele-Thomas, finished a two-day visit to Durban to assess the impact of the recent unrest that gripped the province and to determine the immediate and mid- to long-term response.

The delegation met with the KwaZulu-Natal Premier Sihle Zikalala and eThekwini municipality officials and received briefings on the extent of the economic and social impact of the unrest on local communities.

Our support to KwaZulu-Natal is unconditional and we are going to work with you in an emergency mode not just for the immediate needs but for the medium and long-term which is now an emergency,” Ms. Bekele-Thomas told the KwaZulu-Natal Premier Sihle Zikalala and members of his Executive Provincial Council during a meeting in Durban.

In supporting the UN visit to the province, the Premier noted: “We regard the UN as our key ally in job creation and stimulating economic growth. We are very positive that our contribution and interventions – coupled with yours – will lead to much needed economic recovery and revival in our beloved province.”

A key outcome of the meeting was the establishment of a task team composed of the UN and officials from the Premier’s office, including civil society organisations, to identify priority areas of support and to assess the progress made in rebuilding the province. The task team plans to ensure that the response builds on the existing UN support to KwaZulu-Natal Province through the District Development Model, which includes 33 active UN projects across the province.

During engagements with eThekwini Municipality, Councillor Weziwe Thusi hailed the UN as a key partner bringing hope through its local and global expertise to restore livelihoods, improve access to critical public services and promote social cohesion, including the participation of young people in building back better. The scale of the destruction was laid bare on a visit to Isipingo, where numerous local businesses were devastated during the unrest.  

Mr. Junaid Igbal, the Isipingo Business Community Chairperson, expressed concern over the damage and destruction done to local businesses. “Some of these businesses were 80 to 100 years old, they were looted and destroyed within minutes,” he said.

At the end of the two-day visit the UN commited its support to the social and economic recovery efforts of the province, including affected communities.

For interviews and media enquiries, please contact Zeenat Abdool, UN South Africa - Associate Public Information Officer, at abdool@un.org or 0827788080

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PHOTO: UN Delegation visit to KwaZulu-Natal Province, 29 - 30 July 2021.​​​​​​​

The United Nations in South Africa commits to supporting KwaZulu-Natal in its rebuilding efforts following recent deadly unrest

Zeenat Abdool

Zeenat Abdool

UNIC
Communications Officer

UN entities involved in this initiative

FAO
Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations
ILO
International Labor Organization
IOM
International Organization for Migration
OHCHR
Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights
UN Women
United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women
UNAIDS
Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS
UNDP
United Nations Development Programme
UNFPA
United Nations Population Fund
UNHCR
United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees
UNICEF
United Nations Children’s Fund
UNIDO
United Nations Industrial Development Organization
UNODC
United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime
WFP
World Food Programme
WHO
World Health Organization