A letter from Gerhard Papenfus, COE of the National Employers Association of South Africa (NEASA) to all employers.
In this communique, we will not express ourselves on the underlying causes of, or respond to the current political violence, mindless criminality and looting taking place in many parts of the country, nor will we, for now, lay any blame for what is taking place.
Until last night it was clear that the capability of the South African Police Service (SAPS) to quell what is taking place, is extremely limited or, in most cases, entirely absent. Time will tell to what extent the introduction of the South African National Defence Force (SANDF), will contribute towards restoring law and order – at least temporarily.
In the meantime, business owners will have to take precautionary measures, to the extent that it can be done, to protect their business premises, livelihood and lives. Where any measures are introduced, it will have to be done with wisdom and utmost restraint, as well as within the confines of the law. It will be entirely counter-productive, in response to imminent danger and provocation, to act in a manner that will result in months and even years of defending yourself against prosecution as a result of any impulsive indiscretion.
We also urge business owners, and their employees, to join hands with established civic organisations for purposes of an effective and coordinated response to immediate threats to property and lives, especially where protection by the SAPS and the SANDF is absent or insufficient. However, where it is at all possible, attempts must be made to execute measures in coordination/co-operation with the SAPS and the SANDF.
Let us all pray for God’s guidance and protection at this very challenging time in our history.