South Africa has come a long way in the last 40 years. We have moved from being a pariah state to joining the league of leading nations addressing common global challenges – inspired, led and continually motivated by one of the world’s greatest statesmen.
The country may not yet be quite as envisaged in the constitution, but even the most colourful butterfly must go through several stages of life first and recent changes in the body politic give many reasons for optimism that we may finally be well on our way.
Business, whether private or state-owned, has had to adapt through this journey, ensuring that it stays in step with the prevailing collective ambitions and aspirations of the nation – and there are few corporate entities that possess the kind of agility and adaptability required to survive a changing business landscape quite like Sasria.
In 1979, following the tumultuous events of 1976 sparked by a society no longer willing to live under an illegitimate system of government, Sasria was formed with rather modest capital of R50 million. This was in response to the fact that mainstream insurers no longer had the appetite to insure risks associated with political unrest.
Changing social order
A changing social order brings with it many challenges. While private sector insurers remained at bay with regards to insuring special risks which include riots, strikes, terrorism, civil commotion and public disorder, the demand for such cover only increased as the country became more inclusive in terms of services offered to its citizens, both individual and corporate.
Services offered have not always kept up with services delivered, and it is therefore not surprising that within a period of 36 months, South Africa recorded a staggering 25 000 service delivery protests across the country, resulting in a spike in claims recorded. Despite this, Sasria has a strong balance sheet and is able to meet its current and future liabilities.
It is no exaggeration to say that Sasria has witnessed steady growth in the need for its services over the last 40 years. In recent years, the demand for Sasria’s offering has experienced exponential growth – as evidenced by the acceleration in the value and size of claims.
While Sasria has consistently adjusted its operating model over the years to meet the prevailing market needs, it has also had to take on an expanded mandate which includes being a pillar of socio-economic development. This aspect of Sasria’s responsibility is as essential to the organisation as delivering adequately priced special risk cover to all businesses and individuals around the country.
Today, Sasria’s community impact initiatives include contributions towards education, housing and food security. Budgets allocated to these initiatives have seen steady growth over the years.
Marking 40 years in business for Sasria goes beyond counting the number of years the organisation has offered superior service to the number of years it has been counted as an agent of social and economic progress.
Sasria’s achievements over the last 40 years were no an accident. They can largely be attributed to an uncompromising stance in advocating and implementing a robust governance framework in line with international best practice, zero tolerance of corruption, and an activist approach to socio-economic development.
Most importantly, placing special emphasis on attracting and retaining the best talent the country and the industry has to offer, from the boardroom to the ‘shop floor’ to make sure that the organisation’s strategic goals are realised.
Brought to you by Sasria.