Media Roundtable

Sasria SOC Limited

Media Release

What is the protest outlook for 2016?

Sasria examines the risk of protest action in South Africa
09 March 2016
For immediate release
Sasria SOC Limited (Sasria) held a media roundtable on Wednesday, 9 March to discuss the risk of protest action in South Africa in 2016. With student protests having caused significant damage to property during the first two months of the year – and with the local government elections on the horizon – this is an issue that is top-of-mind for individuals and businesses alike.

Speaking at the event in Johannesburg, Sasria’s Managing Director, Cedric Masondo, quantified some of the damages experienced during protest action during the current financial year ending 29 February 2016. Within this period, he said, Sasria processed 188 claims to the value of R92 million related to student protests alone, 140 of these were in relation to the #feesmustfall with an estimate of just over R42million. There has been a
steady increase in both the frequency and severity of claims related to protest action over the past four years,” he said, adding that frequency had increased by an average of 56% over the past 4 years.

In the 2014/2015 financial year, for instance, only 17% of claims were for damages associated with non-political riots. In the 2015/2016 financial year, however, 84% of claims were related non-political riots such as service delivery protests, student protests and protests by disgruntled commuters. This represents a shift in trend.

Further, while all of South Africa’s elections since 1994 have been largely peaceful, there is often a rise in service delivery protests in an election year. This risk will be exacerbated by what Finance Minister, Pravin Gordhan, has predicted will be a tough year for the economy. Masondo said individuals, businesses, institutions and government departments need to be alert to the increased risk of damage due to protest action, and should ensure that optional
Sasria cover is included on all property, vehicle and valuables clash royale gems generator insurance policies.

This is particularly important for those who still have active loans on vehicles, equipment, transport fleets and property, as they will still be liable for the balance on these loans if either their movable or immovable property is damaged or destroyed.

“Service delivery and student protests are on-going,” said Masondo “and, at present, there seems to be no end in sight. They come about as a result of complex social factors such as poverty and inequality, so are likely to be protracted.

“Claims resulting from damages due to protests such as these range in value from R1 million to R40 million, and can be crippling if the affected parties are not insured for special risks.” With this in mind, Masondo highlighted the fact that the increase in protest-related claims will have a knock-on effect on the economy, which is already under strain.
“Not only do damages experienced during these protests represent a direct loss for the affected parties and a major cost for insurers, they also have an impact on investor confidence and the value of the rand.

“The cost of the protests to the broader economy is difficult to quantify, but there can be no doubt that it has been – and will continue to be – substantial.”