The Institute for Security Studies (ISS) said South Africa’s biggest national security threat is not from external forces from outside the country, but rather from government who is unable to provide basic services to South Africans including ending load shedding.
The ISS’s Gareth Newham was speaking to The Citizen on Tuesday about load shedding security threats which have a huge impact on the country and people.
Newham also spoke at the National Press Club (NPC) briefing about the impact and devastating effects of load shedding.
Newham said load shedding poses a “real risk to national security in various ways”.
“First of all its likely to lead to increases in crime levels… There is evidence that housebreakings have increased in some areas and some insurers have stated there has been an increase in claims for housebreakings during load shedding hours and on the weekend at a much higher level.”
Newham said the broader socio-economic conditions are also impacted by load shedding.
“People start losing their jobs, their businesses, unemployment increases, the economy slows down. People can’t get jobs, they become more frustrated and there is not trust in the government.”
“And all of this is taking place in which we’ve seen a massive decline in public trust in the police and in government over a number of years now because of state capture,” Newham said.
Newham said the biggest security threat is “corruption in government”.
“An example is the July violence that happened in KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng, where there was deliberate political instigation to cause mayhem. You then get local level criminal networks and gangs that are moving in to take advantage of that.”
“That just shows the national security threat isn’t something from outside the country. So, its not really the load shedding itself thats the national security threat, it’s the ongoing weakness and the inability of the state to strengthen the police intelligence,” Newham said.
Listen to the interview with Gareth Newham