South Africa

South Africa: Urban Violence Response - Operation Update Report n° 1 (DREF n° MDRZA010)


Summary of major revisions made to emergency plan of action:

This Operation Update informs stakeholders progress achieved so far in implementation as well as on the results of the needs assessment conducted, which were released on 25 August 2021. Assessment took longer than anticipated due to: (1) volatile security context in which deploying volunteers and staff in some areas for needs assessments would have constituted a risk since the riots continued in target areas for a few weeks; (2) the vastness of the targeted area covered during the assessment. Through this update, the National Society equally seeks the below:

  • To revise the number of targeted households from the initial plan of 500 to 1,636 households (900HH in KZN and 736HH in Gauteng i.e., additional 1,136 HH or 5,680 people). As such, the target for this operation changes from 2,500 people to 8,180 people.

  • To reduce the amount and number of unconditional cash transfers provided to targeted families, from ZAR 3,273 (CHF 210) to ZAR 2,142 (137) and the disbursements from three (3) months to two (2) months of September and October 2021.

  • To request second allocation of CHF 139,681 to complement initially allocated CHF 210,810, to support the expansion of the operation to additional targeted households. Total budget will increase to CHF 350,491.

  • To extend the operational timeframe by one month to ensure there is adequate time to cover all planned activities (new end date: 31 December 2021).


Description of the disaster

During the second week of July 2021, South Africa experienced unprecedented levels of urban violence and destruction of public and private properties. These acts of violence affected areas surrounding the provinces of KwaZulu–Natal (KZN) and Gauteng. As of 16 July, 212 people had died in the unrest and 2,554 had been arrested. The riots and looting resulted into shortages of food, fuel and medical supply as well as enormous destruction towards infrastructure, racial tensions inflamed and disrupted country’s economy. For instance, Kwa Zulu Natal and Gauteng account for more than half of South Africa's Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and due to the riots, the Rand, local currency, weakened by about 2%. Furthermore, the crisis resulted in approximately 14,500 jobs in Gauteng and about 150,000 jobs at risk in KZN. More than 200 shopping centres were looted and property destruction costs are reported to be above 1 billion USD according to a RepublicWorld.Com, a local online news outlet.

A DREF operation was launched on 23 July following this incident, to provide relief to all 2,500 people initially registered in KwaZulu–Natal (KZN) and Gauteng for a period of 4 months. A follow up needs assessment was conducted from mid-August until 25 August in above-mentioned locations, and the report findings recommended a revision of the operation target to be amended to reach 8,180 people (1,636 households) affected by the Urban violence in the provinces of KwaZulu–Natal (KZN) and Gauteng for a period of 5 months (one month timeframe extension).