South Africa expected to be worst affected by security-impacting energy supply disruption in 2024

9th November 2023

By: Marleny Arnoldi

Deputy Editor Online


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London-based global security company G4S finds in its inaugural ‘World Security Report’ that South Africa will be the worst-affected country globally by security-impacting hazard disruption of energy supplies in the coming year.

According to insights gathered from 1 775 chief security officers from 30 countries, 33% of global respondents flagged disruption to energy supplies as a concern, compared with 55% of South African chief security officers flagging this as a concern.

The second biggest security-impacting hazard among global participants is expected to be economic unrest related to stagnant economic growth or recession, which was flagged by 45% of South African chief security officers as a concern.

Moreover, 41% of South African chief security officers agree that the risk posed by social unrest, such as protests, will remain a serious concern going into 2024. Notably, only 31% of global chief security officers see this as being a concern.

A stark 93% of survey participants from South Africa expect to face internal security threats in the next year, which aligns with the global average of 94%.

While 35% of global respondents expect the misuse of company resources or data to be the predominant internal threat, 43% of South African respondents believe misuse of company resources or data to be the predominant internal threat.

Looking back at the previous year, a staggering 96% of South African companies encountered internal security threats, compared with the global average of 89%.

Among the most impactful internal threats were internal fraud and misuse of company resources or data, both experienced by 46% of respondents, and significantly surpassing the world averages of 32% and 35%, respectively.

South Africa was the second-most affected nation in the world by internal fraud, following Kenya at 57%.

In terms of external threats, 32% of South African chief security officers anticipate trespassing to be a significant external threat to their organisations in the coming year, while 30% expect fraud to be a significant external threat. This compares with the global average of 20% for trespassing and 25% for fraud.

South African respondents are also more concerned about subversives (protesters, hackers or spies) as a genuine threat group for the coming year at 54%, compared with the global average of 50%.

G4S says it is clear that the hazards and threats that companies face are ever more complex and multidimensional.

Consequently, South African companies are taking a proactive approach to the integration of cutting-edge technologies into their security measures, with 52% of South African chief security officers poised to invest in biometrics and facial recognition technology within the next five years, surpassing the global average of 40%.

Moreover, 46% of South African chief security officers plan to invest in artificial intelligence and machine learning, surpassing the global average of 42%.

G4S secure solutions South Africa MD Suveer Gajoo explains that, given a climate of increased energy disruptions, it is unsurprising that this tops the list of concerns for South Africa’s security chiefs in the year ahead. 

Loadshedding affects security systems, making companies and utilities more vulnerable to potential attacks.

Additionally, the persistent risk of economic and social unrest, precipitated by low levels of economic growth and high unemployment, is concerning for security officers, who are making substantial investments in bolstering their security preparation and response efforts, including deploying security technologies.

G4S regional CEO for Africa and Middle East Mel Brooks comments Africa is one of the fastest growing regions in the world and as companies grow they are faced with multiple challenges both inside and outside their businesses.

“Focusing on robust processes and early warning security systems will help with preparedness and the ability to tackle the challenges they face.

“Economic unrest creates security pressures in many forms and leaders will need to be vigilant and innovative in tackling these, through the use of well-designed security programmes that combine good situational security intelligence, the right people and security technology," he adds.

Edited by Chanel de Bruyn
Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor Online




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