The South African Insurance Association (SAIA) Board recently met to deliberate on the key focus areas of our business for the next three years. In considering our focus areas, the Board also noted the challenging economic conditions within which the whole financial sector has been operating under over the past decade.
Transformation and Insurance Risks remain our key pillars, each with streamlined projects aimed at improving efficiency and effectiveness. Key projects within the Transformation area like Consumer Education, Enterprise Supplier Development, Motor Transformation and Sustainability Forum (MTSF), Trainee Inspector Programmes and Governance remain, while Insurance Risks will continue with projects in the insurance crime space, fire prevention and property safety, road safety and the agricultural initiative. Infrastructure maintenance has been a pain-point for most of our members as some infrastructure has been lacking maintenance to a point where insuring them becomes a high-risk exercise for our members.
Our engagements with the government at a national and local government level are aimed at driving an awareness and a deeper understanding of the implications or the dangers associated with inconsistent infrastructure maintenance. Such challenges may be in the form of city buildings, storm drainage canals, firefighting services and our national and provincial roads network. Inconsistent or non-existent storm drainage maintenance regimes bring about flash floods caused by blockages and not only have an immense impact on insurable assets like vehicles, domestic dwellings and commercial property, but also on human life, for example.
We are close to this year’s Easter holidays and road safety is at the top of our minds. Many of us already have advanced plans of taking that well-deserved break and visiting family in different parts of the country, and this will involve travelling by road. The Business for Road Safety (BRS) forum, an initiative formed by SAIA and other associations to collaborate and develop unified solutions to assist with the prevention of road crashes and road fatalities in SA has approved its 2-year strategy to be implemented in line with the South African National Road Safety’s objectives.
Deaths on South African roads increased by 14% last Easter holidays when 510 people were killed compared to 449 in the previous year. The Department of Transport has officially launched the Easter Road Safety Campaign aimed at increasing driver awareness of the effects and the impact of alcohol on road users’ behaviour and its contribution to road carnage. We would also like to urge road users to take great care of their vehicles and obey the rules of the road during this season.
SAIA Chief Executive