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South Africa’s water shortage is huge risk to businesses and the economy

25 January 2017 7:35 PM

There are five big reasons why water is a business risk, says GCX Africa CEO Kevin James in this interview on The Money Show.

There are five big reasons why water is a business risk.

So said Kevin James, CEO at GCX Africa, in an interview on Bruce Whitfield's The Money Show.

He lists them as such:

  • World Economic Forum - A global water crisis has been identified as the top risk facing humanity for the next decade. The simple fact is that in order to meet our human needs – let alone economic growth aspirations – we need a lot more water than we have, and the deficit between supply and demand is only getting worse globally, though much more extreme in South Africa. This is, logically, very concerning given that we cannot survive without water and, from a business perspective, water is an input (and therefore embedded) in literally everything we produce and consume.

  • Any significant changes in water quality, availability and price (which is inevitable) will shift entire sectors and their global competitiveness. South African companies are generally not applying sufficient resources to fully understand the extent of this impact on their future business performance.

  • Shortages and compromised quality of water will exacerbate all other major risks facing business - unemployment, food insecurity, poverty, inequality, energy shortages, migration; all of which place added pressure on business. Due to the interconnectedness of all these risks; the consequences are very difficult to predict and therefore navigate.

  • On top of being one of the most water stressed countries globally, made worse by climate change, South Africa also has added challenges of crumbling infrastructure, corruption, financial resources, skills shortages and lack of political will to authentically address the issue, which really leaves it up to consumers (business as well as individuals) to futureproof themselves.

  • Probably the most concerning of all of the above is that - while we certainly have the intelligence and solutions to solve all these issues - the most significant barrier is a psychological one; the challenge people face in understanding and responding appropriately to the gravity of the current and pending crises.

Listen to the interview in the audio below for more detail.

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Article brought to us by Old Mutual.

25 January 2017 7:35 PM