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Cruywagen-IRMSA Risk Lab

Posted By IrmsaInsight, 13 August 2013

The Institute of Risk Management South Africa (IRMSA) in collaboration with the Cruywagen IRMSA Risk Foundation hosted their annual Risk Lab event on 26 July 2013 at Monte Casino in Johannesburg. This year’s theme was "The rude awakening” and the event was facilitated by the well-known ENCA news anchor and television presenter Jeremy Maggs.  

The program was made up of a number of presentations followed by a panel discussion. During panel discussions the audience got an opportunity to pose questions and debate issues raised. A unique element of the risk lab was the technology aspect; each table had a tablet where comments and questions could be raised at anytime during the event. The IRMSA team also tweeted about various activities unfolding throughout the day.

Risk Lab started off with an insightful presentation by Cees Bruggemans, a consulting economist for the First National Bank. His presentation explored the World Economic Forum Global Risks for 2013 and how they affect South Africa. Bruggemans’ presentation was followed by a panel discussion (on the same topic) where he was joined by Adrian Toms of Phambili Solutions and Gert Cruywagen from Tsogo Sun.

The second presentation was titled: ‘Strikes and Labour Risks’, presented by Nerine Kahn - a director at the Commission for Conciliation Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA). In her presentation, she used the Marikana tragedy and the De Doorns farm worker’s strikes to argue the point that the labour landscape is changing and that stakeholders probably need to reassess their approach. This presentation was followed by a panel discussion where with Kahn was joined by political analyst Justice Malala and Mark Robins from the mining sector.

The third presenter of the day was Justice Malala (a political analyst and eNCA presenter of the Justice Factor). He explored South Africa’s political landscape and possible risks in this terrain. Using the ANC Mangaung 2012 conference as his starting point, Malala also explored a variety of factors that have influenced our politics in the past five years and made some predictions about the future.

One of the standout items he raised was a concern about the integrity of our institutions and cautioned against judging local politics on the basis of individuals. The panel that followed Malala’s political analysis was made up of Nicky Weimar (an economist at the Nedbank Group) and Adriaan Basson (Deputy Editor at City Press) together with Justice Malala. 

Another topic covered at Risk Lab was that of ‘Anti-Corruption and Collusion’ presented by Janette Minnaar van Veijeren from the Ethics Institute of South Africa. She not only demonstrated how corruption affects the involved parties but also its wider impact and consequences. She left the audience gobsmacked when she shared South Africa’s consistently worsening ranking on the global list of corrupt nations. She also indicated that the non-financial consequences of economic crimes are higher in South Africa than anywhere in the world.

The last presentation put a spotlight on cyber-crimes and hacktivism. Prof Basie von Solms – a director at University of Johannesburg’s Centre for Cyber Security – presented this topic and emphasised that cyber risks are a directors problem and should not be relegated only to a company’s IT department. He cautioned the audience that most of South African companies are ignorant of cyber risks, stressing that no one is immune to cyber-attacks.Dr Gert Cruywagen was the last speaker of the day and he highlighted how human nature supported by man’s inherent qualities in man have helped in our survival.  Adding that (unguarded) some of these may be a danger to us today. The proceedings were concluded by outgoing IRMSA President Hennie Thessner, who thanked delegates for attending Risk Lab and commended the IRMSA committee and teams for the great work done in organising the event.   

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