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Last minute FIFA 2010 World Cup™ Risk Considerations









  By Michael E. Stoker

  Insurance Gateway® a division of

  Stoker Risk and ICT (Pty) Ltd




The Cruywagen/IRMSA Risk Management Foundation in conjunction with the Institute of Risk Management of South Africa and the Institute of Directors SA took some time out on Thursday this week to take a last minute helicopter view of the risks surrounding the World Cup event.


The forum took the shape of a “Risk Laboratory” with several talks followed by break-away groups which work shopped specific aspects of the issues and concluded with the drawing together of an overall strategy.


Distinguished speakers included Dr Gert Cruywagen, Director of Risk, Tsogo Sun Group; Volker van Widdern, Managing Director Marsh Risk Consulting, Africa and the Middle East; Leonard Radzuma, Chief Risk Officer, City of Johannesburg and Johan du Plooy, Managing Director of Temi Group.


The Speaker sessions included four main topics:


  • Risks that may prevent the World Cup from being a total success
  • Risks that the World Cup may create for Business in South Africa
  • Risks around local authorities
  • Security Risks

Whilst all of the speakers were able to bring their special expertise to bear having regard to their perspective and positioning in relation to the event, there were certainly many risk considerations that would be common to most enterprises, such as the possibility of the failure of public utilities or telecommunications, labour disputes, terrorism, major illness outbreaks, a mass causality incident, an increase in syndicate crime (human trafficking, drug trafficking, kidnap and ransom and credit card and internet fraud), or a major interruption of international travel such as occurred in the immediate aftermath of 9/11, or more recently following the Iceland volcanic eruptions.


For public utilities, think water, electricity, gas, telecommunications, sewage and waste disposal.


The amount of planning and resources that have been expended on the risk management issues surrounding the World Cup could not be over estimated. Authorities, enterprises and some of the best minds in the world in the field of risk management have been deployed to consider all of the logistics and risk factors and while that doesn’t mean nothing can go wrong, the South African public and visitors can rest assured that best practices have been high on the radar, in terms of disaster prevention and appropriate disaster management responses.


For individuals and small and medium sized enterprises who may not have given this too much thought already, by now, a review of “Red Letter Days” in your area could be a high priority item for consideration. “Red Letter Days” explained Dr Crywagen, are days when matches are being played in your area, some of which may carry more potential risk than others, and these are days when you should be on highest alert and take into account when planning meetings or local travel.


And match days and match venues are not the only considerations. For example, Leonard Radzuma, Chief Risk Officer of the City of Johannesburg, said “The City of Johannesburg is host to the opening and final matches, fifteen games will be played in the City from two venues, there are six Training Venues, Fan Parks, Township TV, the International Broadcasting Centre and Public Viewing Areas”.


A list of all of the scheduled matches is available from the official FIFA website. To view the fixtures, copy and paste the following website address into your internet browser:


Let’s face it if an enterprise doesn’t have a World Cup Risk Management strategy in place by now, it’s probably too late to implement any major Risk Management interventions at this stage, but one could still conduct a last minute review of the insurance portfolio. From a liability perspective one could examine liability exposures and increase limits of indemnity and scrutinize the Jurisdiction Clause of the policy, where appropriate.


For individuals it would bode well for them to raise their level of risk awareness during this period and since schools will be closed for the duration of the event, parents are exhorted to be aware of the whereabouts of their children at all times, during the World Cup period.


But says Leonard Radzuma, “Risk there may be however there is also a great opportunity to market South Africa Inc., so let’s make to most of it”.


And now, with just 26 days to go to kick-off, we’d like to wish all of South Africa and our visitors a happy World Cup!


Copyright © 2010 Michael E. Stoker


Source: Insurance Gateway®
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