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How Business Continuity Management (ISO 22301:2019) can Assist with the Unrest in Gauteng & KZN

After former President Zuma was imprisoned, protests and mass looting erupted in anger over the inequality that persists 27 years after apartheid ended. For the fifth day in a row, South Africa has been rocked by violence and looting, with an estimated number of more than 70 people killed and over 1,200 arrested as authorities struggle to quell the worst unrest in decades. According to the looting aftermath in Durban, 45000 businesses were affected, resulting in R16 billion in lost stock and infrastructure damage. It will cost the country at least R20 billion, if not more, in property destruction and job losses, as well as the unavoidable rapid rise in Covid-19 deaths and infections. Many businesses could have benefitted here from a Business Continuity Management System like ISO 22301.


This is How Bad the Damage is.

By Monday afternoon the 12th of July, more than 200 shopping malls had been looted. Several shopping malls in Soweto, South Africa’s largest township and former home of Nelson Mandela, have been completely ransacked, with ATMs broken into, restaurants, liquor stores, and clothing stores all in shambles. In KwaZulu-Natal, where livestock has also been stolen, rioting has continued, with ambulances being attacked in some areas by rioters. As Mr. Ramaphosa delivered his speech to the nation on Monday night, a blood bank in Durban was looted.

The Reason Behind the Riots

The arrest of Jacob Zuma last week acted as a catalyst, with his supporters blocking major roads – the nation’s economic arteries – to demand Zuma’s release. Low-income levels and unemployment, which has reached a record high of 32.6 per cent among the workforce and 46.3 percent among young people, are viewed as ticking time bombs that have finally erupted. The riots that swept through Zuma’s political heartland of KwaZulu-Natal and the economic hub of Gauteng have shaken many South Africans. There is little doubt that the upheaval is the most serious security problem that Mr. Ramaphosa has faced since taking office in 2018 after the ousting of Zuma. Given the amount of damage, it is certain to exacerbate the economic situation, which is already being aggravated by the pandemic.


How ISO 22301 Business Continuity Can Help Your Organisation

ISO 22301 establishes a framework for planning, establishing, implementing, operating, monitoring, reviewing, maintaining, and continuously improving a business continuity management system (BCMS) which ensures a business maintains its operations during a disaster like the pandemic or civil unrest. It is expected to assist companies in protecting against, preparing for, responding to, and recovering from disruptive situations. Organisations who apply ISO 22301 will be able to show legislators, regulators, consumers, prospective customers, and other interested parties that they follow best practices in BCM. Incidents, such as the unrest in Kwa-Zulu Natal and Gauteng, can disrupt an organisation at any time, and implementing ISO 22301 will ensure that companies can adapt and maintain operations. A business continuity strategy combined with a management system should keep your employees aware of their duties and obligations. It is critical to be ready to adjust to established protocols and approved procedures in the event of an unforeseen incident, such as the unrest that is currently taking place while we are dealing with this pandemic.


Your organisation can benefit from business continuity management in many such as:

  • Comply with all applicable laws.
  • Gain a marketing advantage.
  • Reduce your reliance on individuals.
  • Avoid large-scale damage.
  • Resilience in Operations.
  • ISO 22301 identifies and manages current and future business threats.
  • ISO 22301 shows customer, supplier, and tender request resilience.


In the form of a Disaster Recovery Plan (DRP), business continuity management describes the procedures you must follow in the event of an incident. A Disaster Recovery Plan is a documented, well-organised business continuity strategy that explains how to handle disruptive situations. Your Disaster Recovery Plan should include a short-term plan to repair and rebuild important business systems, as well as a problem-solving strategy that includes root cause identification and a long-term preventative strategy. There are numerous alternatives available to guarantee that an organisation has a contingency strategy in place that gives the optimum answer.

When implementing the Business Continuity Management Plan the key is to test it. Testing, for example, includes:

  • Simulations of pandemics, riots etc.
  • Documenting and studying lessons learnt.
  • Having a disaster recovery site (DR Site).
  • Knowledge of how to contact security companies to protect assets.


Don’t have a plan yet to recover your business? A Disaster Recovery Plan and ISO 22301 Business Continuity Management will have your back. Without wasting any more time, with assistance from WWISE you could create a plan to rebuild your business from destruction now and in the future. Did you know that ISO 22301 could assist your organisation not only when a disaster such as unrest occurs but also in terms of your business facing cybersecurity and data issues?
WWISE creates excellence by driving the success of our clients through ISO standards. We help organisations to embed resilience, helping them to cultivate sustainably, adapt to any change, and thrive for the long term.
For more information on ISO contact WWISE today on 08610 99473 or 021 525 9159 or visit our website: https://www.wwise.co.za.