South Africa: All hands on deck to build resilience to disasters

Source(s): Business Day, BDFM Publishers (Pty) Ltd.
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Role-players need to recognise that the best chance of building a resilient future is to do so together

By Lulamile Makaula

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Research from the Embedding Project, a global public benefit research project, indicates that there is a growing recognition from companies that they need to commit to operating within a set of socio-ecological thresholds that consider longer timelines and have a broader understanding of value creation — and that they have to report their performance on managing these issues.

There is also a growing understanding of the central role of business in developing "community resilience", a term that is increasingly finding resonance in SA’s discourse, which refers to a community’s sustained ability to use its available resources to respond to, withstand and recover from shocks such as droughts, fires and economic crises.

Building community resilience is a complex undertaking that involves a host of inter-related system elements, which implicate diverse role-players. To respond to this complexity, leading companies are starting to establish innovative partnerships with some role-players — especially municipalities, which play an important role in facilitating local economic development — to achieve shared objectives.

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Co-operation between business, the government and the broader community does not come easy because of the historical trust deficit between the private and the public sectors. To help overcome this, business should start to ask the right questions and its leaders should be open to engaging with a wider pool of stakeholders. Communicating successes and building up resources to assist this are key.

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The global risks report 2018, 13th edition English

Document links last validated on: 16 July 2021

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Country and region South Africa
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