Unrest in South Africa this month has claimed 337 lives, the government said on Thursday, marking yet another jump in the death toll from the 276 announced the previous day.
But, it quickly escalated into arson, looting, and spread to Gauteng province where the biggest city Johannesburg is located.
“The South African police have revised the total number of deaths in Gauteng (province) to 79 and KwaZulu-Natal to 258 as related to the unrest,” said Khumbudzo Ntshavheni, a minister in the president’s office, adding that some of the latest deaths were of people succumbing to injuries sustained during the riots.
Authorities have managed to bring the violence under control. But the economic cost is estimated at 20 billion rand ($1.37 billion) in KwaZulu-Natal alone, as 161 shopping malls, 11 warehouses and eight factories were extensively damaged. The extent of the damage in Gauteng is still being collated.