South Africa

SA businesses fear infrastructure failure in 2024

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A new survey from international financial services firm Allianz shows that South African corporate leaders are more worried about critical infrastructure failures than any other threat.

40% of those polled for the 2024 Allianz Risk Barometer said that infrastructure blackouts were a major threat, up from 36% last year.

Worldwide, this didn’t make it into the top 10 – but in South Africa specifically, it’s notoriously a big issue. Last year, Electricity Minister Kgosientsho Ramokgopa forecast that the cost of load shedding was R725 billion in 2023.

This year, politicians are more optimistic: in his State of the Nation Address, President Cyril Ramaphosa said that load shedding would end in 2024. However, that leaves Eskom with a mountain to climb. Last year was the worst year on record for energy availability.

Cybercrime the biggest global threat – and second in SA

Globally, cyber incidents such as cyber crime, data breaches and network disruption were the most commonly identified threat, picked by 36% of respondents. Despite it being second locally, South African respondents were more aware of the issue than the global average, with 39% picking this option.

South African businesses are particularly at risk of cyber crime: the country is the eighth most targeted globally for ransomware attacks, as well as Africa’s number one target for business e-mail compromise. Businesses that handle large and frequent financial transactions as well as plentiful client data, like real estate agencies, should be especially vigilant.

Using trusted platforms with rigorous security measures to handle payments and data will help to safeguard your business, but business processes and training are also an essential piece of the puzzle. PayProp Canada recently released some best practices for cyber security.

Need to know how your peers feel? We will also have more information on the 2024 business challenges identified by real estate agents in our annual State of the Rental Industry report, coming soon.

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