Humans exist in complex adaptive socio-ecologically linked systems that interact, learn, react, change and adapt. Disaster risk reduction (DRR) functions within these systems in SADC and its member states. However, DRR cannot be viewed as the responsibility of one government entity or one regional sector. The multi-sectoral, multi-scalar and multi-disciplinary nature of DRR makes it ideal to embrace the tenets of anticipatory governance. Anticipatory governance is the ability to harness the collective intelligence and wisdom of collaborating organisations and citizens, to deal with strategic risks and leverage emerging opportunities in order to meet development goals. Anticipatory governance has five important elements: foresight-, networked- and feedback systems, open-minded institutional culture, and the presence of Auftragstaktik. This paper builds on the lessons learnt in the COVID-19 response in the region as well as recent research conducted in the field of disaster risk governance. It assesses anticipatory governance and how it can be fostered and build resilience in SADC post-COVID-19.