Busa believes Sasria doesn’t have resources to pay out S. Africans after looting

Business Unity South Africa (Busa) said that Sasria had already indicated that it expected the insurance claims bill for the instability to cost up to R12 billion and in its assessment, the SOE was incapable of delivering on its mandate due to some limitations.

Firefighters extinguish a building following riots in Alexandra on 12 July 2021. Picture: Boikhutso Ntsoko/Eyewitness News

JOHANNESBURG - Business Unity South Africa (Busa) said that it did not believe that state-owned insurance company, Sasria, had the resources to compensate South Africans after the looting.

The organisation's vice president, Martin Kingston, said that the challenge had already been discussed at the National Economic Development and Labour Council (Nedlac) where business, labour, government and the community had been meeting to devise solutions.

Sasria has already told Eyewitness News that it was sufficiently capitalised to handle claims.

Busa said that Sasria had already indicated that it expected the insurance claims bill for the instability to cost up to R12 billion and in its assessment, the SOE was incapable of delivering on its mandate due to some limitations.

Kingston said: “Sasria on its own does not have the necessary resources to provide requisite support to those that have taken out insurance. The insurance industry is already looking at how it can mobilise incremental resources in a very safe manner to provide assistance, particularly to businesses that have been impaired.”

Should Busa be correct that Sasria would not be able to handle all claims, this could leave a serious financial dent on many businesses, leading to mass shutdowns.

Kingston explained: “It’s a broader question. It has already been discussed in the context of the work we have done at Nedlac, which is how we can reprioritise the limited fiscal space that we have. It's clear we are going to have to take decisions as a country that we had not anticipated even a week ago to ensure that we can channel relief to those that are most in need.”

Sasria’s current product range offered R500 million primary cover for classes of insurance, including material damage, business interruption, construction and goods in transit.

On request, however, corporate customers can get additional cover of up to R1 billion.

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