Technology has not been asleep during the “unprecedented riots” that have seen South Africa on its knees this past week.
The riots, it seems have prompted content creators at Google to come up with a riot function with a live tracker.
News coming from sources close to the development says Gauteng residents are now able to track where riots and looting are happening on Google Maps.
This will help residents travelling in and around Gauteng to avoid the no-go areas in the province “Red areas are no-go areas for EMS as it is not safe. Do not make changes unless verified and sent through to the creator,” reads the feature.
For the past five days parts of Gauteng have been hit by large-scale riots and looting. Some of the Gauteng areas where violence has flared include Daveyton, Benoni, Tembisa, Sebokeng, Thokoza, Alberton, Soweto and Alexander.
As many as 72 people have been killed in violence and rioting in South Africa which erupted after the jailing of the former president Jacob Zuma last week after he failed to appear at a corruption inquiry. More than 1,200 people have been arrested.
Looters have ransacked shops and businesses, and stopped a refinery from working on Wednesday, ignoring calls by security officials to stop. Alleged supporters of the ex-president have also blockaded roads, disrupting major supply chains.
Footage even emerged of people rushing to save a toddler trapped inside a Durban department store which had been looted and then set on fire.
President Cyril Ramaphosa has called the violence “unprecedented”.
“We are having sporadic protests in Thokoza by hostels, in Primrose area, in Katlehong by Sotonga Mall. Also in Alberton on corner Union and Radio streets. So, we urge motorists and pedestrians to please be careful, especially around Phumlani Mall at Usave centre, Thembi Mall and Isithama section in Tembisa,” says Thabiso Makgato, Ekurhuleni metro police.
In a statement on Monday, the Gauteng government appealed to residents to desist from acts of violence.
“The volatility had prevented people from getting to work and disrupted services across the province.
Some Covid-19 vaccination sites have been closed and Emergency Medical Services teams have been prevented from responding to distress calls,” the statement read.
According to African News Agency (ANA) about 1 234 people have been taken into custody during the unrest in Gauteng (683) and KwaZulu-Natal (549)
Click here to access the map.