Interview with Zanele Zeka, Executive Manager: Risk & Compliance of Richards Bay Industrial Development Zone

I-Risk: Intelligent Risk Management for a New Age, 19th & 20th June 2014, Protea Hotel Fire & Ice! Melrose Arch, Johannesburg, South Africa

Marcus Evans has launched the i-Risk: Intelligent Risk Management for a New Age conference scheduled to take place on the 19th & 20th of June 2014 at the Protea Hotel Fire & Ice! Melrose Arch in Johannesburg, South Africa. Organisations currently face a myriad of challenges ranging from internal factors of governance and compliance through to macro threats such as economic instability and market volatility. This conference provides a holistic perspective on current and emerging threats as well as the tools required to navigate this challenging landscape. A strong emphasis is placed on the future of risk in Southern Africa and how to lay the strategic foundations to ensure competitive edge and a healthy bottom line.

Presenting on a case study with the title of “Considering the Changing Roles and Responsibilities of Risk Champions” is Zanele Zeka, Executive Manager: Risk & Compliance of Richards Bay Industrial Development Zone. We explore her expert opinion and view of the industry as well as her take on the Risk and Compliance department job roles today in this exclusive interview.

· What is your view and expert opinion about the upcoming conference?

Presentation topics will address issues of current importance in insurance, risk management, and related areas.

· Tell us a bit more on your opinions on the market generally in relevance to the industry?

Risk Management plays an important and multi-faceted role in analysing an increasing risk aversion in developing regions such as SADC, and to explain better the contributions of insurance to welfare in emerging economies through, for instance, public-private cooperation. Risk practitioners seek in particular to understand the nature of emerging and key strategic risks—such as extreme events and those stemming from societal and technological developments (e.g. cyber security)—and to understand how and where they relate to insurance.

· Can you share a successful case study/story with us about your experience as Executive Manager: Risk & Compliance at Risk Bay Industrial Development Zone?

The RBIDZ has an advantage in that risk management is handled at executive level and therefore buy in is not difficult. The RBIDZ has established a formal regime of dealing with risk management. We compile an Annual Risk Action Plan and conduct Annual Risk assessments shortly after compiling an Annual Performance Plan. All executive managers are risk champions for the operational risks emanating from their Business Units. The Executive Committee (EXCO) also serves as a risk Committee and risk management is a standing agenda item in all EXCO meetings.

Our biggest risk is in procurement and therefore the executive manager responsible for Risk and Compliance is a permanent Chairperson of the Bid Specification Committee and also sits as an observer in Bid Evaluation Committee. Since joining the company in 2010 we have developed infrastructure to the tune of R280mill and all those services were procured through open tenders and we have not had a single litigation, no project has been left unfinished and all our projects have been implemented on time and on budget, because we avoid all possible risks at procurement.

· You will be presenting at the upcoming conference. Which topic in the event interests you most? Why?

Considering the Changing Roles and Responsibilities of Risk Champions. I am passionate about this topic

· What role do you see from Top management heads & Officers of Risk and Compliance department evolving to in the near future?

Provide a platform between the insurance community, the engineering and academic communities, policymakers, and a wider audience to discuss issues on balancing risks and opportunities.

Foster the use of risk assessment and risk management in new fields of application, such as policymaking.

Identify new opportunities for insurers in the emerging sustainability concept in order to enlarge the field of insurable and insured risks.

· How would you advise professionals to respond to current and emerging threats in Southern Africa such as economic instability and market volatility?

They must research and illustrate the new risks in the emerging service economy, based on an extended performance responsibility of economic actors and then suggest mitigating actions. This could promote the concept of the insurability of risks as the ‘natural’ borderline between state legislation and the market economy.

· Any added views you wish to highlight on your upcoming presentation at this event?

Being expected to do more with less financial and human resources has become the status quo at all levels of government in South Africa. The current environment of national fiscal restraint makes an already difficult job even more challenging, and means every decision must be scrutinized more carefully. This restraint calls for innovation and transformation. What are the implications for risk management when the stakes are raised, results more closely scrutinized, and resources reduced? How can risk management thrive in this environment?

For more information on the event details, please view:’s%20Interview&utm_content=i-Risk&utm_campaign=i-Risk%20%26%20Zanele%20Zeka

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