Monday, 12 July will go down as the darkest day in South Africa’s democratic era. As visuals played out of widespread looting and burning of businesses, one would be forgiven for thinking we are living in a war zone.

At the last count, 72 people have lost their lives, not to mention the thousands of livelihoods that will now be lost because of such brazen criminal acts. No one has been spared from the consequences, from the spaza shop owner and consumers to large retailers and even mining companies.

Already, MC Mining has temporarily suspended operations at its owned Uitkomst colliery in KwaZulu-Natal because of the civil unrest.

And while South Africa burns, it is bound to discourage much needed international investment in the mining sector and the country as a whole. All of this is playing out in the middle of a pandemic that has already crippled the economy.

And so I ask: What now South Africa? Where do we go from here?