Melanie Veness: Riots created huge trust deficit in PMB. Act against perpetrators or forget job-creating investment.
KZN's capital Pietermaritzburg was turned into a war zone during July's riots - with local businesses (and citizens) abandoned by SA's deliberately absent security forces. Melanie Veness, CEO of the PMB Business Chamber, spoke out powerfully at the time, condemning the behaviour of the local SAPS and confined-to-barracks Defence Force. She is refusing to allow revisionists to now gloss over the disaster, warning that without retribution, a repeat is probable. In this podcast, Veness urges the politicians to speak up and demand consequences for the perpetrators - without which, she says, it will be impossible for the city to overcome its trust deficit with business. Until that is addressed, KZN's capital will not be able to retain many local businesses, much less attract investment from new arrivals.