Johannesburg – State owned special risk insurer, Sasria (SOC) Ltd today signed an agreement with short-term insurer Santam to join hands in the Partnership for Risk and Resilience (P4RR) programme, aimed at facilitating increased collaboration between provincial and district disaster management centres. It is also intended to enhance the capacity of local government with fire and flood risk management.
Sasria provides unique insurance cover against risks such as civil commotion, public disorder, strikes, riots and terrorism. Starting with the Ehlanzeni district municipality in KwaZulu-Natal the partnership says it will set out to work in its business’ specific areas of concern; civil and labour unrest, and student protest that in many instances result in fire risk in municipalities.
“We commend Santam for the impact they have made across a host of municipalities to date, and look forward to partnering with them in this ground-breaking project. Through our involvement we will set out to understand the drivers of potential community unhappiness, and then address it proactively to prevent any unrest or protest action,” says Cedric Masondo, Sasria Managing Director.
Santam’s P4RR, previously known as BAAM (Business-Adopt-A-Municipality), is a cooperative partnership established in 2012 with the Department of Cooperative Governance. The initiative was originally established to assist municipalities to address vulnerable levels of risk when it came to fire, flood and storm surge hazards within underprivileged communities. At that time, five municipalities were selected for the partnership.
“We have greatly improved the provision of disaster management services across several municipalities, and more than five million people in a total of ten district municipalities and 53 local municipalities will benefit from the expanded programme over the next five years,” says John Lomberg, Stakeholder and CSI manager at Santam.
“Through the partnership, Santam has been instrumental in enabling these municipalities to effectively respond to emergency and disaster risk management events. Disaster risks impacts all of us, and the insurance sector has a responsibility to take the centre stage as a risk reduction partner.
“We were pleased when Sasria responded to our appeal for other insurers to join our initiative at a SAIA (South African Insurance Association) engagement in September 2016.
“We place enormous importance on our accountability to fulfil the role of a responsible corporate citizen through forging partnerships, building capacity, and creating sustainable solutions and practices to enhance the resilience of communities to manage and reduce risk. We’re looking forward to more insurers reaching out and joining the project. It has always been our intention to bring other partners on board to assist local government,” he says.
Santam’s collaboration with the municipalities via P4RR has resulted in several contributions being made by the insurer in order to help mitigate ‘on the ground’ insurable risks. These contributions have included the resourcing of local fire stations with equipment such as fire hoses and protective gear, and the enabling of geographical information systems aimed at improving emergency response and disaster management capabilities.
“We have greatly improved the provision of disaster management services across several municipalities, and look forward to impacting the lives of more than five million people between now and 2020,” concludes Lomberg.