Business Unity South Africa and Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi have called on President Cyril Ramaphosa to take action against the looting and violent protests in KwaZulu-Natal.
Saftu General Secretary Zwelinzima Vavi also called for action against those behind the burning of trucks.
He said the truck drivers would be at the receiving end of this violence as they will lose their jobs.
Busa CEO Cas Coovadia said Ramaphosa must stand up to the rule of law.
Coovadia and Buthelezi said the economy was already on its knees before Covid-19, and the violent protests have added fuel to the fire.
“Busa condemns such actions because, in addition to being lawless and endangering lives, these actions have a devastating impact on an already fragile economy and on investor confidence.
“It is also irresponsible of these protagonists that they are violating Covid regulations and health protocols in the midst of a severe third wave of the pandemic. These irresponsible and illegal acts must be condemned in the strongest terms. Our economy was in recession pre-Covid and has been severely impacted by the pandemic.
All responsible South Africans should be uniting to start rebuilding the economy. These acts of sabotage on people and the economy must be met with the full might of the law, and this must be applied in an unequivocal way,” said Coovadia.
“We note the statement issued by President Ramaphosa condemning these actions and appealing for calm. We support the President in this, but urge the President to show decisive leadership in enforcing law and order and addressing the nation to send a clear message that government will not waiver in its duty to protect people and property,” he said.
Buthelezi also called for Ramaphosa to take action.
He said this has turned out to be a country caught up in a serious situation.
Buthelezi added the country was being destroyed, and this should not be allowed to happen.
“As we witness a country aflame with violent protests, looting and destruction, it is clear that South Africa is being destroyed. This has become far bigger than politics. It has enveloped rogue and criminal elements, as well as an army of desperadoes who have nothing to lose in the face of poverty and unemployment. The State is being held to ransom as citizens create anarchy,” said Buthelezi.
He said dispute assurances from the Police Minister that the violence would be contained, it failed to materialise.
“Anarchy has been unleashed. I urge our President to take a firm stand. I know the responsibility upon his shoulders, and I will willingly stand in support of any measures he takes to protect South Africa. But I also know that if he does not act now, and act decisively, all will be lost. Our beloved country is aflame. We need to act,” said Buthelezi.