SAIA and its members have been very active in the crime-combating arena. Not only does crime affect all individuals and businesses in South Africa, it also directly impacts on our industry.
Although the need for a holistic, targeted and collaborative approach with regards to insurance fraud and crime led to the establishment of the South African Insurance Crime Bureau (SAICB), SAIA still needs to represent the industry in general crime combating areas.
In this regard, we have been active in many Business Against Crime South Africa (BACSA) activities and particularly in the Violent and Organised Crime Workgroup as part of the Big Business Workgroup and the Leadership Forum initiative.
We value our long-standing partnership with BACSA, and this was again supported by the industry’s decision to donate at least R1.5 million towards the violent and organised crime area as well as the road safety area, specifically aimed at drunk driving. The seventh annual donation of its kind to BACSA was approved in 2009. SAIA believes that the annual donations have made a huge contribution towards the significant and steady reduction of vehicle crime in recent times.
In addition, SAIA donated R500 000 that was used for the training of detectives in a joint project with BACSA and the Gauteng Provincial Police Service. The graduation ceremony for the 500 detectives trained took place on 25 February 2009 in Johannesburg, with Gauteng Premier, Paul Mashatile delivering the keynote address. SAIA supported this capacity building within South African Police Service (SAPS) Detective Services because this project had the potential of impacting positively on all crime types, including vehicle crime, household and business robberies and other crime types. This training augmented the skills and capacity of detectives to manage their day-to-day duties more effectively and will hopefully lead to better prepared cases that could end up in more convictions in the courts. It is our hope that the success of this initiative will be continued in Gauteng where many more detectives need the training, as well as to other priority provinces.