Sasria's liabilities exceeding its assets in wake of claims from July riots

It is the only insurer in the country offering coverage for damage from special risks such as riots, strikes, terrorism and public disorder.

Suspected looters carry goods from the Game Warehouse in Durban on 13 July 2021. Picture: AFP

CAPE TOWN - State-owned special risks insurer, Sasria, is technically bankrupt as it faces paying out up to R25 billion in claims after the violence that tore through KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng in July.

The looting and destruction followed the jailing of former President Jacob Zuma.

Sasria has told Parliament’s select committee on finance that its liabilities exceeded its assets and it needed a financial shot in the arm from Treasury.

ALSO READ:
- Sasria assures SA that it covers damage caused by riots, political violence
- Busa believes Sasria doesn’t have resources to pay out S. Africans after looting

National Treasury has agreed to inject R3.9 billion into Sasria but its board chairperson, Moss Ngoasheng, said that this would still leave a significant shortfall.

"The reality is Sasria has a balance sheet of R9 billion and we are facing R20bn to R25bn in claims, so the gap is what we need to be plugged. The R3.9bn is completely inadequate for the purposes and the reality that we face today."

Before the unrest that ripped through KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng, Sasria ended the 2021 financial year in March with a healthy profit of just over R2bn.

It is the only insurer in the country offering coverage for damage from special risks such as riots, strikes, terrorism and public disorder.

Ngoasheng said that talks were under way with Treasury for more funding.

Sasria’s managing director, Cedric Masondo, said that about 98% of claims have been reported to date and about R2.8bn has already been paid out.

Download the Eyewitness News app to your iOS or Android device.