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Insurance claims from unrest seen at up to R10bn – govt insurer

Major companies that have suffered significant damage will likely have to shoulder some of the cost themselves.
Image: Sibonelo Zungu, via Reuters

Claims for damage and theft from businesses affected by civil unrest in South Africa are likely to be between 7 billion rand and R10 billion, the head of the only insurer covering political violence in the country told Reuters.

Days of riots and looting have left more than 70 people dead, hurt thousands of businesses and damaged major infrastructure in some of the worst civil unrest in decades.

Triggered by the jailing of ex-president Jacob Zuma last week after he failed to appear at a corruption inquiry, its has widened into an outpouring of anger over poverty and inequality.

Sasria, a state-owned insurer set up after private firms stopped underwriting risks relating to political violence due to unrest during apartheid, has received around 100 million rand in claims so far, its managing director Cedric Masondo told Reuters, adding this was expected to rise significantly.

The company, the only insurer to offer cover for such risks, expects total claims of up to R10 billion, or R12 billion rand in a worst-case scenario – making the unrest likely the most significant event in terms of the value of claims since Sasria was set up in 1974, Masondo continued.

“This is the worst in terms of financial magnitude,” he said.

Masondo said while Sasria has re-insurance cover that runs into the high single digits and can fund up to R10 billion of claims from its own balance sheet, it only covers customers up to a threshold of R500 million.

This will mean smaller firms will likely see their losses insured in full, while major companies that have suffered significant damage are likely to have to shoulder some of the cost themselves.

Some 40,000 firms have been affected in the Ethekwini municipality in the province of KwaZulu-Natal alone, with damages in the area put at 15 billion rand, according to its mayor.

Violence has been concentrated in KwaZulu-Natal, Zuma’s homeland, as well as the country’s economic and financial centre of Johannesburg and surrounding areas in the Gauteng province.

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This is a failure of the ANC on so many levels. The insurrection highlights the incompetence, ignorance and sheer arrogance of the senior leaders in the party. They are so focused upon their own positions, and the hierarchy at the trough, that they totally neglect the promises that they have made to the nation when they were sworn in as parliamentarians.

Let me tell you this, if I put my employees into lockdown, without providing them with adequate food and shelter, and without making contingency plans for the education and wellbeing of their children, they will steal my sheep, raid the shed for rations and steal the batteries and tyres for cashflow. I would have done the same. Now, I am just a simple farmer, white and almost 60 years old as well. If I know this, what is wrong with the leadership of the ANC if they see fit to put the entire nation into lockdown without contingency plans and while they themselves receive their inflated salaries? What do they think about their constituency? Where is their compassion and respect for the people? In all honesty, they deserve to be overthrown!

As an employer, I would have been arrested if I did what the ANC leadership have done. Then they have the gall to label their incompetence and ignorance as a war against a virus!

The people are risking their lives to steal rice and nappies for God’s sake! These are good people who have been turned into hooligans by the ANC. Mothers and old people running to fetch nappies and rice! Shame on Rampahosa and his inner circle of exploiters.

What we are witnessing is the guts of the ANC being spilt in the streets. These are acts of desperation because Mandela’s dream has been trampled upon by the leadership of the ANC.

Dead right. What also did not help matters at all, was the idiotic booze ban. The minute the authorities ban a popular item, its price and attractiveness to criminals go through the roof. The public is openly selling booze at 200% or 300% above retail on social media. So if you’re poor and desperate, it is all too tempting to and loot Makro Liquor or a Tops, knowing that you can get nice bootleg prices for your loot, not to mention having a good party on R3000 bottles of single malt you plundered.

So an idiotic measure that had sinister alternative motives all along (see the infamous photo of NDZ consorting with known smugglers) but was falsely held forth as a so-called measure to save lives, exploded in the regime’s faces. At least 70 people dead, who knows how many injured, hundreds of pharmacies looted, medical consulting rooms destroyed, vaccinations being set back, all of this due at least in part to what can only be described as the most stupid and illogical measure to combat the virus ever, the alcohol ban.

If CR had acted sooner, the damage/claims would be far less

This man comes across so blasé, its frightening

Communities are all one, claiming that the Police and Soldiers are nowhere to be seen

The ANC deployed 70 000 soldiers last year with the pandemic, yet with the biggest social unrest seen in this country, only 2500

One has to beg the question why? Why after three days of carnage are they still debating..?

Why is Cele only getting his act together now?

My notion is there’s something more sinister than we are led to believe! I hope i’m wrong

Lets hope and pray SASRIA money isn’t going to form part of the State Capture Inquiry

My heart and prayers go out to the people, businesses and victims in KZN and Gauteng

What’s R10bn between cadres.

Half the cost of the latest public sector “gratuities”.

“Sasria….can fund up to R10 billion of claims from its own balance sheet”

No it can’t. It’s last annual report (March 2020) shows available reserves R6bn or so. Maybe the R10bn includes reinsurance cover in which case “reinsurance in high single digits” doesn’t make sense either.

End of comments.

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