A key warehouse used by Samsung was destroyed and several of the company’s service centres ransacked during riots in KwaZulu-Natal on Tuesday and Wednesday.
The warehouse in Cato Ridge belonged to Value Logistics, which Samsung used as its main staging warehouse between the Durban port and the rest of South Africa.
Samsung was not the only client housing goods at the warehouse, and the destruction of the facility is a major blow not only to the KwaZulu-Natal region but the whole of South Africa.
“Fortunately it was not our only facility, though it was our biggest facility,” said the director of integrated mobility at Samsung South Africa, Justin Hume.
Hume told MyBroadband that the plundering of the warehouse does create some potential disruption for Samsung with respect to its home appliance products.
No mobile phones were kept at the facility, Hume said.
He added that Samsung didn’t have a lot of TVs stockpiled at the warehouse as these are produced at a factory in a different location and don’t sit in warehouses for long.
Hume said that the biggest blow for Samsung was not even the loss of the warehouse, but the destruction of several service centres around the KwaZulu-Natal area.
While the service centres don’t have a big financial impact on Samsung, losing them negatively impacts the company’s ability to serve customers in the region.
#Watch Value Logistics in Cato Ridge is being looted and trucks set alight right now. Management says many people are stealing Diesel as many fueling stations are closed. #eNCA #KZNshutdown #KZNViolence #Shutdown pic.twitter.com/IKa5vuqZrG
— Ronald Masinda (@RONALDMASINDA) July 14, 2021
Posts on social media on Tuesday showed looters making off with TVs and other appliances housed at the Value Logistics warehouse.
On Wednesday the rioters returned, this time setting fire to trucks parked at the facility.
SABC News reported that a minibus taxi crashed into a Value Logistics truck, killing both of the occupants of the taxi.
The South African National Defence Force arrived on the scene on Wednesday and arrested several looters, SABC news journalist Nonkululeko Hlophe reported.
KwaZulu-Natal Premier Sihle Zikalala also visited the site and confronted looters.
— Nonkululeko Hlophe (@Leko3) July 14, 2021