CPUT’s Virtual Open Day is now open! Click here to visit >>>


Business Continuity & Disaster Recovery Directorate

In the dynamic higher education landscape, the Business Continuity & Disaster Recovery Directorate stands as a stalwart guardian, tasked with safeguarding the institution's continuity in the face of adversity. At its core, this Directorate is the architect of resilience, meticulously crafting plans and strategies to navigate through the storms of unforeseen events. Our first charge is to meticulously map out potential risks, conducting thorough assessments to identify vulnerabilities lurking within the university's operations. With this knowledge, we are tasked to ensure preparedness, drafting comprehensive plans that delineate precise procedures for every conceivable emergency, from natural disasters to other threats.

The Directorate is equally devoted to fostering a culture of readiness. Through targeted programmes and awareness campaigns, we want to empower staff and students to become active participants in the university's resilience journey.

When the unexpected strikes, the Directorate springs into action, leading the institution through the crisis. We coordinate, deploy resources, activate emergency teams, solve problems as they arise and communicate vital information the university community. Amidst the chaos, our guiding principle remains clear: to ensure the safety of the university community and the continuity of essential functions.

Our work does not end with the immediate response. In the aftermath of disaster, the Directorate shifts gears, leading the charge in recovery efforts. We chart a path forward, and develop strategies to rebuild what was lost and reforge the university's resilience stronger than before. Each incident becomes a crucible for growth, as the Directorate meticulously reviews and refines our plans, ensuring that the university remains ever-ready to face whatever challenges the future may hold.

In essence, the Business Continuity & Disaster Recovery Directorate is the unseen sentinel, standing vigilant against uncertainty, ensuring that the heart of the university continues to beat, unwavering and indomitable, through every storm.

Business Continuity & Disaster Recovery Directorate contact details

Director: Business Continuity & Disaster Recovery: Prof Mellet Moll

Email: mollcm@cput.ac.za

The Director: Business Continuity & Disaster Recovery reports to the Executive Director in the Office of the Vice Chancellor.

Historic overview

CPUT has, over the past eight years, been subject to several existential crises which, if not responded to calmly, with integrity and with the required wisdom, could have had dissterous effects on the continuity of the operations of the institution. The lessons that were learnt from these events, especially the institution’s response to the recent COVID-19 pandemic, lead management to express the need for a permanent organisational function tasked with the management of business continuity & disaster recovery. The institution’s response to the pandemic is well documented, and amid all the calamity during this dark and uncertain period, the resilience, commitment and competence of the team that was responsible to navigate the institution through the ongoing crisis, laid an important foundation for the recently established Business Continuity & Disaster Recovery Directorate. The creation of resilience and responsiveness in a university has since become a key feature of global higher education. The creation of a Business Continuity & Disaster Recovery Directorate at CPUT has positioned the institution as a pioneer in higher education in South Africa.

Work processes

The Business Continuity & Disaster Recovery Directorate focuses on specific work processes to ensure the institution's resilience and ability to withstand and recover from potential disruptions. While specific strategies may vary based on the university's unique needs and environment, these focus areas include:

  • Risk assessment and mitigation: Conducting comprehensive risk assessments to identify potential threats to the university's operations, including natural disasters, technological failures, cybersecurity breaches, and pandemics. This involves analysing the likelihood and potential impact of various scenarios and implementing measures to mitigate these risks.
  • Emergency response planning: Developing detailed plans and protocols for responding to emergencies swiftly and effectively. This includes establishing communication channels, defining roles and responsibilities, and coordinating resources to ensure a coordinated response.
  • Business continuity planning: Creating strategies to maintain essential functions and services during and after a disruption. This involves identifying critical processes and resources, establishing backup systems and facilities, and developing procedures for alternative modes of operation.
  • Disaster recovery: Ensuring the integrity and availability of critical process and ensuring that they are up and running in the shortest possible time.
  • Training and awareness: Providing regular training and awareness programs to educate staff and students on emergency procedures and their roles during a crisis.
  • Continuous improvement: Regularly reviewing and updating business continuity plans and procedures based on lessons learned from past incidents and changes in the university's environment. This includes incorporating feedback from stakeholders, conducting post-incident evaluations, and staying abreast of emerging threats and best practices in disaster preparedness.

Vision in pursuit of Vision 2030

An enabling environment where Vision 2030 is supported through the prevention of any existential threats to the achievement of the strategy and the operations that underpin it.

Mission in pursuit of Vision 2030

Operational disruptions to the pursuit of Vision 2030 are anticipated to the degree in which it is possible; extensive plans are in place to pro-actively manage these disruptions; and the effect of these disruptions are minimised through the use of state-of-the-art practices, technologies and governance structures.

Strategic focus areas in pursuit of Vision 2030

The following strategic focus areas have been identified for the Business Continuity & Disaster Recovery Directorate in CPUT

  • An enabling environment based on BCM policies, procedures, protocols, & governance structures;
  • Accurate, continuous, and timeous detection of any existential threats to the continuity of CPUT’s operations;
  • Establishment and maintenance of risk analyses and business impact analyses for any existential threats to the continuity of CPUT’s operations;
  • Establishment and maintenance of disaster recovery or contingency plans for any existential threats to the continuity of CPUT’s operations on both the overall level, as well as for the various portfolios in the organization;
  • Establishment and maintenance of cluster teams for any existential threats to the continuity of CPUT’s operations that are knowledgeable to advise EM within their respective fields of expertise and manage interventions as required by EM; and
  • Establishment and maintenance of a research environment that continuously studies best practices in business continuity management and the underlying fields of expertise and encourage research output as a dividend on the institutionalization of the BCM process.

Business Continuity & Disaster Recovery clusters

The Business Continuity & Disaster Recovery Directorate has identified eight areas that pose potential business continuity threats to the institution and has identified teams leveraging on both the knowledge of academic experts as well as the experience of key operational staff to assess, coordinate and manage any existential threats emanating from that specific area.

These clusters are shown in the figure below: