Key takeaways from the Second Wave Update: After the Festive Season Webinar

28 January 2021 The Institute of Risk Management South Africa

The Second Wave Update: After the Festive Season session was held this morning.

You will recall that the first session was held on 15 December as the second wave swept the country and we very quickly responded by hosting a session where robust discussions were held.

This morning our panel of experts were once again in session to look at developments after the festive season and looking ahead.

Our panel:

• Jeremy Maggs – News Commentator and Facilitator
• Mr Ndabo Khoza, CEO: Ushaka Marine World
• Professor Ian Sanne, Infectious Diseases Doctor, Associate Professor: Wits University
• Mr Graeme Codrington, Futurist: TomorrowToday Global
• Mr Dharashan Naidu, Human Resources & IT Director: Coastlands
• Dr Azar Jammine, Chief Economist: Econometrix
• Premier Alan Winde – Western Cape

Here are some key takeaways and some value add suggestions from this session:

• A “step up” of the basic controls to avoid COVID-19 infections. Support these measures with higher vigilance though improved discipline and also active and risk adjusted leadership. Consider closely risks associated with the organisational operating model e.g. returning to the office, use of public transport, delivering products and services, etc.

• Refreshing your cash flow/liquidity risk profile supported by reviewing the effectiveness of the risk response strategies in place. Ensuring that opportunities are also considered to support liquidity – highlighting the risks around lack of innovation and agility. Thriving during this time requires a risk adjusted business strategy supported by an agile but robust operating model in support of the risk response strategies.

• Doing scenario analysis with organisational leadership – exploring alternatives and testing their robustness through “what if” and “so what” stress tests.

• Whether at national, provincial or organisational level, risks associated with delivering against mega projects of which funding, sourcing and delivery of the vaccine is one. Refer to the IRMSA Risk Report 2020 for a detail risk analysis of this risk.

• The risk of the vaccine programme is not just limited to the national roll-out policy and strategy – Assess the risk of your organisation’s need/role in obtaining and delivering vaccines – Should your leadership get to make decisions, for example, who will get it vs. who should get it first? If the opportunity presents itself – do you have a risk profile of your organisation’s vaccine programme in support of these decisions? A good starting point is a business impact analysis as it is not always about the “title” or “level” but identifying and securing those skills that are pivotal in making the organisation’s “wheels turn”.

• Assessing risk control effectiveness – Make sure that you are delivering an integrated risk view on the assurance of the system of internal control. Combined assurance is now critical given the pace at which the context in which we operate is changing.

• Fraud and corruption are still systemic – Identify the risks and the consequences this may have on funding, procurement and delivery of the vaccine roll-out strategy.

• IRMSA Risk Report 2020 highlighted the collaboration between public and private sectors as one of the key pivots needed to make significant inroads into the country risk profile. The reason is that it impacts positively on so many risks – COVID-19 has amplified this need for collaboration and the opportunities that can be unlocked as a result of this are wider than those highlighted by COVID-19. Click here to access the IRMSA 2020 Risk Report.

• It is imperative that risk professionals ensure that the organisation’s risk management strategy includes “opportunity”. The risk strategy and framework must be robust enough to allow for the harnessing of innovation and creativity – not just focusing on doing less of the bad but critically, doing more of the good. This requires visionary leadership, agility and responsiveness to change.

• COVID-19 spotlighted many pockets of excellence – Industries that identified alternatives, re-strategised and adjusted their operating models, products, services and workforce – IRMSA will be identifying those and use the CRO roundtables and forums to unlock and share the valuable lessons learnt.

Click here to watch the recording of this session.

Quick Polls


The Budget Speech 2021...


Certainly taxpayer-friendly, with tax increases being kept to a minimum
Realistic and in accordance with my expectation
Is welcomed news and will go a long way to bolster the economy and South Africa
I have mixed feelings… cutbacks and reprioritisations in government spending pose a significant risk and will come at a cost
Oh no! What about our booze and tobacco! Higher sin taxes
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