Konno gave this starting hand as an example:
1-crak 2-crak 6-crak 8-crak 4-dot 6-dot 8-dot 1-bam 5-bam 7-bam 8-bam :east :south red-dra
If I hold onto the :south, doesnt that increase the chance that it will get ponned when I do discard it (because somebody might be collecting wind tiles)?
Yes it does increase the chance of :south being ponned if you discard the first :south. As it is not the wind of the round it is unlikely that anybody apart from South is interested in collecting. Other players (particularly those with better hands) would probably look to discard earlier making it safer for you to follow suit.
However, Konno mentioned that it was a starting hand and as a starting hand it\'s a bit of a mess ... really the only way this is going anywhere is by a run of good draws.
I suspect Konno is keeping :eastred-dra for a few draws to see if he draws a pair (looking for a pon) to give him better options of getting the required Han -- at the moment, it is only looking like a reach or fully concealed. A reach looks like it will only come very late and a fully concealed hand is not a good option as we are 5 away from out.
Alternatively, he with such a bad hand he may suspect that someone on the table has a very good hand and so wishes to keep the honours until it is safer to throw them.