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Interview with Ane Bruwer, South Africa

In our second interview we talked to Ane Bruwer who was the Head of Delegation to South Africa at the 5th plenary meeting of ISO/TC 292 in Sydney.

Isotc292online.org: You are a member of SABS mirror committee to TC 292. Can you briefly introduce your NSB and mirror committee, please?  Ane Bruwer

HoD: The South African Bureau of Standards (SABS) is affiliated to the International Organisation for Standardisation (ISO). The SABS is a Government institution responsible for the development and monitoring of standards within South Africa. SABS is a statutory body that was established in terms of the Standards Act, 2008 (Act No. 8 of 2008) as the national standardization institution in South Africa, mandated to:

  • Develop, promote and maintain South African National Standards (SANS)
  • Promote quality in connection with commodities, products and services
  • Render conformity assessment services and assist in matters connected therewith.

SABS TC 292 is the mirror committee for the International Standards Organisation Technical Committee for Security and Resilience (ISO) TC292 in South Africa. It has two sub-committees, SC1 (Security and Fraud Countermeasures) and SC2 (National Disaster Management)

Isotc292online.org: Who are the key stakeholders of Security and resilience in SABS?

HoD: There are several, including: 

  • Government (national and provincial)
  • Municipalities (local government)
  • Accreditation Bodies
  • Private
  • Manufacturing
  • Academia
  • State Owned Enterprises

Isotc292online.org: ISO/TC 292 covers a broad spectrum of standards. In what areas are South Africa’s  main interests in the committee?

HoD: SA contributes to the ongoing work of the ISO/TC292 through active participation in Working Group 5 and Working Group 2, the Developing Countries Cooperation Group and the overall working of the committee. Participation in this international structure is an opportunity to foster good international relations with international partners and obtain access to a wealth of information related to the standardisation of disaster management concepts and issues. SA good practice is also shared in this international platform.

The most recent standard that SA  has a keen interest as member of WG5, is ISO 22395 Security and resilience - Community resilience - Guidelines for supporting community response to vulnerable people, which has been published as a Draft International Standard (DIS). This project will develop an International Standard giving guidelines on how to identify people who are vulnerable to emergencies and how to support them in emergency preparedness response and recovery.

ISO 22392 Security and resilience - Community resilience - Conducting peer reviews for disaster risk reduction, is another important NWIP which will be a priority for SA. This project will develop an International Standard giving guidelines on general issues in conducting peer reviews of community resilience and design a peer review tool to assess community preparedness for disasters. It will also describe how to implement the peer review tool and design the methodology to assess its impact. The standard will be applicable to all types and sizes of organizations, whether large or small, public or private, listed or unlisted, not-for-profit or for-profit.

South Africa has a particular interest in the work of the UN Coordination group which has been established to explore opportunities within the area of disaster risk reduction and resilience, and supporting the implementation of various frameworks and programs developed by the United Nations. The national focal point for the Sendai Framework in SA, is the National Disaster Management Centre (NDMC). The NSB has a close relationship with the NDMC in identifying new projects to support DRR.

SA is pleased to confirm that we will also have representation in WG2 which is also an important area for us to become a key player. Ms Moganedi is an active experts in WG2 of our local mirror committee, SABS/TC292/SC2. She will particularly contribute to the activities of ISO/TC292 within the DCCG as well as Working Group 2 which is responsible for drafting of standards in the field of continuity and resilience.

A National Government Business Continuity Management Forum has been established and it aims to guide the implementation of Business Continuity Management within government departments.

The International Organisation for Standardisation (ISO) adopted a programme that seeks to ensure that developing countries are not mere users of standards developed by ISO/TC 292, but become part of the development of these standards. The DCCG  is a constitute committee comprising representatives of developing country members of ISO/TC 292 whose objective is to share and exchange standardization ideas common to developing countries and to ensure that developing country concerns are effectively addressed at ISO/TC 292 technical work. It is a platform for meaningful collaboration and participation by developing countries in the work of the committee. This is an opportunity for developing countries to influence standards being developed and propose new standards to be developed. SA fulfils the role of co-convener of the DCCG.

Isotc292online.org: How do you work currently in these areas (e.g.: are there any laws, regulations, national standards or other rules?) and how can ISO standards help?

HoD: The Technical Committee of the South African Bureau of Standards responsible for Disaster Management (SABS TC292/SC2) drives the development of standards for disaster management in accordance with Section 7(2)(iii)(c) of the Disaster Management Act, 2002 (Act no 57 of 2002) that provides for the establishment of joint standards of practice.

SA has comprehensive legislation on disaster risk reduction and disaster management. There are also guiding documents available. SA is also a signatory to the Sendai Framework for Disaster Reduction.

SA has a number of regulations that specify the continuity of critical of operations in some sectors. 

ISO standards can assist greatly in providing:

  • Competitive edge - Equips businesses with relevant information on emerging trends and changing practices
  • Innovation- Participation in standards development exposes businesses to the expertise and research of other organizations within the same industry or sector.
  • Cost savings and increased revenue - Makes delivery of a service more efficient and cost-effective by reducing costs for development and production
  • Confidence and status - Means for organisations to demonstrate social, health and environmental responsibility in their business practices.

Isotc292online.org: So far have you adopted any standards developed by ISO/TC  292 as a national standard in South Africa?

HoD: Yes we have adopted several, including:

  • SANS 22301 Societal security – Business continuity management systems – Requirements
  • SANS 22311 Societal security – Video-surveillance – Export interoperability
  • SANS 22313 Societal security – Business continuity management systems – Guidance
  • SANS 22320 Societal security – Emergency management – Requirements for incident response
  • SANS 22398 Societal security – Guidelines for exercises

SABS will be considering the adoption of the following ISO/TC292 Standards in 2018:

  • ISO 22315 Societal security – Mass evacuation – Guidelines for planning
  • ISO 22316 Security and resilience - Organizational resilience - Principles and attributes
  • ISO 22319 Security and resilience - Community resilience - Guidelines for planning the involvement of spontaneous volunteers
  • ISO 22325 Security and resilience - Emergency management - Guidelines for capability assessment

Isotc292online.org: ISO/TC 292 is now working on ISO 22370 Security and resilience - Framework and principles for methodologies on urban resilience.  What is your interest in this project and how would you like to see it develop? 

HoD: This project proposal includes the development of a Technical Report that describes a framework and principles that are coherent with the entire 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda (see below) that can be applied to achieve an enhanced state of urban resilience. The document further proposes the use of UN Habitat’s developed metrics and models as the framework upon which to structure a portfolio of standards to assist and recognize local authorities and other urban stakeholder’s efforts to build more resilient human settlements. It is primarily intended for use by organizations with responsibility for urban governance. However, it is equally applicable to all types and sizes of organizations that represent the community of stakeholders noted above, and in particular those organizations that have a role in urban planning, development and management processes in cities around the world.

I am particularly interested in this project within the context of urban resilience and the Sendai Indicators to begin the process of codifying and institutionalising new standards that provide comprehensive guidance to address forward looking, strategic, targets to ensure resilience to all shocks and stresses, and at all levels of society.  I would like to see how we identify opportunities within the area of disaster risk reduction and supporting the implementation of the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction.

Isotc292online.org: How does your mirror committee involve itself in standard development at present and how do you see this developing in the future?

HoD: SA has developed a number a homegrown standards in the area of security and resilience. I believe there is a huge opportunity to expand the membership of the mirror committee and  to become even more active in the development of standards in the area of business continuity and standards that support the Sendai Framework for DRR in a SA context.

Isotc292online.org: What advice can you give to interested parties in South Africa who want to offer their input to the work of ISO/TC 292 and your mirror committee  and who should they address? 

HoD: If anyone wishes to contribute with their thoughts on possible standards, they should contact the Secretariat of SABS TC292: 

Mr Mmakgabo Maheya, Team Leader | Systems and Services Standards, Email: Mmakgabo.Maheya@sabs.co.za, www.sabs.co.za

SABS/TC 292 welcomes suggestions and ideas for new work.

Interview conducted by Ms Norma McCormick, Canada, member of the TC 292 Communication Group