Risk body urges companies to reassess operating protocols as South Africa increases lockdown once more

The South African government has had little choice but to implement new level three pandemic lockdown regulations, as all risk models indicate increasing infections in an accelerating third wave, according to the Institute of Risk Management South Africa (IRMSA).

IRMSA president Thabile Nyaba said: “The rapid rise of infections and tragic deaths in so many cases are a clear indication that this fight is far from over. We again make a call to organisations in both the public and private sector to revisit their risk strategies, and specifically putting staff safety and welfare at the top of the priority list.

“We particularly call on senior managers to set the right example in observing existing protocols and making sure they are adhered to.”

Ms Nyaba said IRMSA remains concerned about the pace of vaccine rollout but is heartened to hear that more sites are being opened and that over-60s are now able to take advantage of a walk-in option for the jab.

“The priority for government and all organisations is to make sure the vaccine is disseminated quickly and as widely as possible. We are encouraged that some progress in terms of acceleration is being made, but we are still far off the pace we should be at. At a company level, we again urge c-suite executives to take the lead and explain the importance of vaccination to staff and to make sure they are registered,” said Ms Nyaba.

She added that with a third wave hitting the country, it is imperative that organisations adhere to their risk management strategies and audit where there are gaps and shortcomings.

This, she said, includes relooking at remote working and mapping where points of failure are occurring; whether cyber risk measures are being updated; what plans are in place to deal with employee stress; and whether the right mechanisms of internal and external communication are in place.

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