The unrest that occurred in parts of Gauteng and KwaZulu Natal had negative consequences for businesses and the economy. Therefore, it is essential that companies be better prepared for these circumstances if they were to occur again.
Aftermath of Looting for Businesses
The riots that occurred in areas of the country were not something that could have been predicted, and businesses felt the effects of the riots. The results of the riots include loss of stock as well damage to infrastructure. The damage that occurred has been estimated to be around R160 billion. In the data that was produced by The South African Property Owners Association, the riots affected more than 50 000 informal traders and 45 000 businesses.
South Africa is also known to be an unequal country, and it also has amongst the highest rates of employment in the world. These factors played a role in the riots as the increasing rate of dissatisfaction in communities was part of the reasons why these riots began, and until these issues are addressed, then there is a huge possibility that these riots will likely occur again.
Security Measures Businesses Can Take
Though it is difficult to predict when riots will occur, businesses must find strategies that will assist them in dealing with the effects and be better prepared in the future.
- Work With The Community
The communities where the business was part of playing a significant role in assisting businesses. Some community members protected some companies, and some assisted in cleaning up after the riots occurred. What happened can be a lesson for many companies to value working together with the community and taking an interest in them by looking out for news updates and advice from the security agencies. Businesses should also work hand in hand with community platforms such as security companies and the SAPS to create a reaction plan.
- Plan For It
The key to dealing with future riots is planning for them now, as prevention is better than cure. Before any riots or protests occur, there is usually information that is spread regarding the time and location of the riots, so businesses must be prepared as they will be able to establish the next step if their business is at risk. Since the riots’ underlying causes have not been addressed, it is safe to say that they could occur again, and planning could save your business.
- Determine Vulnerabilities
The key to understanding your business is through determining what your potential property vulnerabilities could be. By deciding what your vulnerabilities are, you would understand where to focus your mitigation efforts. To understand your vulnerabilities, you would need to inspect your property and the area surrounding your business, such as the parking lots, neighbouring businesses, and streets, to determine risk management issues, including gaps in security measures and any concerns that could affect employees customer safety.
- Have Physical Security Measures
Your business must invest in security measures that will reinforce your property that will protect your property if there is a physical onslaught. The first security measure you can invest in is roll-down shutters that can effectively defend against attacks. Your business can also invest in glazing shields and riot glass, which is virtually unbreakable. These security measures will be effective when these riots turn violent. You would have an extra layer of protection that will prevent any loss.
- Work with The Authorities
The authorities play two significant roles in protecting your business. The role they play is to provide you with information regarding the routes and the plans for riots. In the event of a riot, their presence will reduce the chances of rioters targeting your business. Having access to information about riots from the authorities, such as the time of riots and where the rioters plan to go, you will be able to prepare and hide any valuables that you might lose if your business is targeted.
- Hire Security Guards
Though having the police around your business during riots might sound ideal, it might not be practical as they might not be able to give your property a consistent watchful eye. Therefore, security guards would be the best option in this situation. Security guards are well-trained to provide your business with the best protection to protect all your assets. You must choose the best security guard company equipped to handle riots so that your property is not vulnerable.
Businesses may have experienced risks to their property during the riots that may have damaged their property and put their employees’ safety at risk. To avoid the risks associated with riots, businesses can follow the steps offered above to be well-prepared.