MAILBOX: SASRIA’s incompetence has hard-working SA citizens contemplating their future in our once-beautiful country

Last week, in Wednesday’s Daily Insider, BizNews founder Alec Hogg’s daily communication with the BizNews tribe, he cautioned us not to forget the violent looting and destruction that took place in KwaZulu-Natal and parts of Gauteng in July. Almost four months later, Hogg noted that, while it is easy to forget the harrowing events that shook South Africa, we should not “because the best lessons often emerge from a crisis”. In response to this crucial message, BizNews received the article below from community member Barry Pringle, in which he laments that many businesses continue to struggle as a result of unpaid claims by SASRIA. In October, National Treasury and SASRIA released a joint media statement announcing Treasury had indicated that R3.9bn would be disbursed to SASRIA to assist the insurer in meeting its obligations until the end of March 2022. For many businesses desperately awaiting funding, by then it may be too late. – Nadya Swart

By Barry Pringle

Hi Alec, your communication today got my hackles bristling – again. Not you, SASRIA. There remain many unpaid claims, even unattended claims. Despite promises by the CEO, SASRIA continues to fall short. The problem is not money; funds are available. It’s the usual SOE apathy, incompetence and disinterest in other people’s problems.

I wonder if this is not all a part of a greater anarchist plan. Placate everyone with verbiage and promises that won’t be fulfilled (sound familiar?) while doing what you can to disrupt the economy. A look at SASRIA’s financials, available on its website, makes for interesting reading.

I am no accountant or economist, so my observations are possibly a bit naive, but consider this:

  • A gross written premium of R2.4bn and an investment return of R257m – barely 11% of claims of R991m representing a loss ratio of 41% – would make any insurer CEO do flick-flacks in Nelson Mandela Square.
  • 104 employees with total remuneration amounting to R113m – an average of more than R1m per employee.

And SASRIA is unable to perform its most basic function – to pay its customers’ claims as quickly as possible. And the Minister of Finance believes SASRIA is doing a good job!

Regrettably, industry representative bodies have remained ineffective, stating that SASRIA is doing everything it can to settle claims. Well, it is not!

Communications with the FSCA have also been met with disinterest; its answer being that if one has a complaint it should be submitted via the correct channels. The FSCA should instead be meeting with SASRIA to voice its concerns about treating customers fairly, the cornerstone of the financial services industry, and try to assist and overcome obstacles in order for claims to be settled. I wonder how a non-SOE insurer would be treated by the FSCA in similar circumstances?

Meanwhile, law-abiding, job-creating, hard-working, tax-paying South Africans continue to face financial ‘dread diseases’ and contemplate their future in this once-beautiful country destroyed by 27 years of ANC incompetence.

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