South African’s National Liberation Movement

Close this search box.

No to Looting

Keeping our communities safe

13 July, 2021

Overall approach


There are a few key things we must achieve to avoid loss of life and chaos

  • Stop violence and chaos by all means possible
  • Keep food coming into area – if violence continues and shops are broken no one will deliver food here
  • Keep roads open to food and medical support and SAPS can come in and we can move around freely
  • Identify new outbreaks quickly and get community leaders to persuade and defuse and SAPS to arrest lawbreakers – no civilians should use arms
  • Teams of mediators to intervene and stop localized conflict between protestors and shopkeepers, or neighbours – try hard to defuse racial conflict
  • We need to help people who are hurt

How do we do this in every community:


  1. In every ward, township or village: Call community leaders, councillors, Community Police Forums, religious, taxi and political leaders to trouble spots to help to keep people calm:
  • Set up a central ops centre in any available office with a phone and a direct line to SAPS.
  • Collect all emergency service numbers and spread. Let community know which areas are unsafe and should be avoided.
  • Ask community to identify any troublemakers and report to SAPS or Ops centre
  • Make sure all leaders and monitors understand the basic code of conduct: peace first, lives before property, talk before fighting, be humble and friendly but firm, obey the police, directly engage with any armed people to persuade them to not fight.
  • Explain the consequences of chaos and trust the people to listen and work with you.
  • Explain the results of chaos and persuade people to stop– loss of life, loss of jobs, no food or medical care in this area.
  • Stop all violence especially between looters and shopkeepers, neigbours and inter-racial violence.
  • Use taxi associations to inform ops centre and residents, transport people out or in and keep food supply safe where possible.
  • If there is no trouble yet call them together to plan, use community and other media, social media, loudhailers to keep people calm and defuse crisis points

  1. Deploy monitors and leaders to every area where there are shops as an early warning system:
  • set up a WhatsApp group to quickly spread information about new attacks.
  • Stay at your posts and report on WhatsApp
  • Call for reinforcements if signs of trouble


  1. Keep food and medical supplies going

– without food we will go deeper into chaos and start stealing from each other

  • Without medicine many more will die of Covid


  1. Wherever shops are being looted food suppliers will not re-stock their supplies:
  • Work with police to identify danger areas as well as delivery spots where food can be safely taken, start planning for feeding soup kitchens if needed
  • Stop looting and protect shops, trucks and roads – work with SAPS
  • Block entrances to malls and streets with many shops and stand with police to reinforce their numbers


  1. Do not let people arm themselves or use violence to inflame the situation:
  • Contact SAPS wherever armed groups form
  • Talk to them and persuade them not to inflame the situation


  1. Get help for people who are hurt
  • set up doctors rooms, clinics or temporary emergency units with transport that you can contact to treat people or take injured people out.


  1. Protect any neigbourhoods that are threatened and all work together.


  1. Help shopkeepers move their goods if in danger of looting.


  1. Set up community teams or volunteers or members of organisations to clean up looted shops, unblock streets and reassure the public.

Recent tweets