Attacks On Food Distribution And Retailers Imminent
There is little doubt that the huge impact of the Lockdown in South Africa was always going to be a litmus test for the stability of a country already teetering on chaos.
Lockdown started and the first signs of trouble was the criminal looting of liquor stores and then some retail delivery trucks. The pot started to boil with the lid on. Then the tweets and social media platforms began shining the spotlight on the abusive and barbaric methods of the police and SANDF members deployed to “manage” the lockdown rules, with little to no reaction from those in charge. The ideology and intentions behind the lockdown seemed to be getting less visible and less accepted...
Instead what we got along with underground cigarettes and alcohol was a stirring of desperation, fear, and anger amongst many of us.... but understandably more so in the communities of the poorest of the poor. If that wasn’t cracking the thin ice sufficiently, certain thugs from the ruling party (ANC) were caught stealing food parcels meant for the very people who vote for them election after election. THE ICE HAS NOW CRACKED!
However, the threat of full-scale anarchy is no longer being aimed at the clueless, morally bankrupt politicians......but at the source of all our food and essential goods. The abattoirs, the retailers and those distributing the very items required for basic survival are now firmly seen as ‘fair game’
What you can be certain of is that when opportunity presents itself so called
‘Community leaders/saviours’ suddenly arise and drive the feelings of growing feelings of resentment under the cloak of concern for their people. When in actual fact these agitators are motivated only by self-interest and money, earned off the back of the desperate.
As I write I have logged 19 phone calls and 11 emails from retailers and food transporters (since Wednesday 6th) requesting armed protection and assistance, as a result of the “Food Mafia”
These are self-appointed spokesmen claiming to represent the closest community or informal settlement. There demands are straight forward,
Provide large scale food hampers, vouchers and cash to them or “we” will burn your place to the ground and destroy your vehicles. But here in lies the kicker… all parcels and cash must be handed over to the gang leader and his cronies, as they claim that they will distribute it fairly. Failure to comply and they put the word out that your company has laughed off helping the poor and considers their plight as insignificant.
Extortion, blackmail, and intimidation.... nothing more nothing less. But can these threats be ignored?
The trouble is as soon as a targeted retailer or distributor undertakes to help, the next group come knocking. A vicious cycle begins......
Whether you choose to protect and take precautions through increased and ADEQUATELY trained and experienced private protection specialists. Or not, is a decision that must not be taken lightly. However, in my opinion given the risk unfolding decisions need to be made soon.
South Africa will not just bounce back after a level one (1) announcement and companies must accept that with 500000 estimated job losses, certain industries are at greater risk than ever before. Truck hijackings, looting and mass unrest are happening, and we need to know this.
Please do your risk audits or speak to a professional that you can trust with advice.
I would love to hear back from you on any opinions or comments regarding the “Food Mafia “or other serious threats at your business going forward.
Kyle Condon is the owner of D&K Management Consultants,
a specialist protection and international risk mitigation company.
Contact him: 082 820 5363