JOHANNESBURG – Wednesday, 13 July 2022: Last year, specifically on July 9, South Africa experienced one of the saddest events in the history of the country’s constitutional democracy as widespread, violent, and deadly looting took place in KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng.
These were incidents that most South Africans would not wish to see a repeat of. Law enforcements agencies have been hard at work as they endeavour to see successful prosecutions against those that allegedly perpetuated the looting. With close to four hundred lives, infrastructure vandalised and the economy negatively affected, the unrest was not only unfortunate, but should also be seen in the negative light it brought to South Africa. Like most South Africans, the Sasria SOC Ltd was largely affected by the riots as there has been an unprecedented number of claims, most of which have been assessed and settled. We are thankful to the support government, particularly the Treasury, has given us.
Sasria has so far paid over R24 billion, meaning that eighty percent of all lodged claims have been paid out. Sasria continues to encourage clients that have outstanding information or paper work to submit these, so that those claims can be finalised as well.. Out of the 21 000 claims lodged, there is only a few outstanding, hence the call to clients to submit for finalisation. Currently, there are 6 800 outstanding claims, totalling R7 billion. Some of these are complex as clients are still rebuilding, and in some cases, they need to put the exact amounts of claims.
Mpumi Tyikwe, chief executive officer at Sasria, said: “This past year has not only been tough and challenging, but it called on us as an organisation to think differently and come with solutions geared towards smoothly assisting our stakeholders, and in the end, all our clients.”
“We all know the damage the unrest did to our economy and infrastructure. Much as this is etched in our history, we need to reflect, plan better and vow never to see such a repeat. We do recognise the right of people to protest, but we call on them to do so responsibly. We are encouraged to see that law enforcement agencies are working together as we strive to never find ourselves in this situation again. As the insurance industry, we note the information given by the Justice, Crime prevention, and Security cluster on the latest arrests. We will continue to work closely with all stakeholders,” said Tyikwe.
Tyikwe said Sasria is currently in a stable financial position, with enough capital required by the regulator. Based on this, he said Sasria can focus on risk planning as it future proofs the business to be agile and to be able to handle any event that can be similar to the unfortunate 2021 July unrest. Tyikwe said it was unfortunate that Treasury had to inject R22 billion to assist with settling claims, as this was money that could have been better used towards other urgent service delivery needs.
Sasria is thankful to the assistance offered by the entire insurance industry, brokers, and agent companies as they worked closely with us in attending to all the claims and seeing their conclusion. It’s commendable how claims were dealt with. This support has been tremendous, and we are grateful to be part of an industry that pulls together when faced with such a huge challenge.