President Cyril Ramaphosa recently signed the Administrative Adjudication of Road Traffic Offences Bill (AARTO) into law, effectively bringing to life the demerit system aimed at penalising drivers and operators who are habitual offenders of rules governing the use of public roads. In its 2016 report titled: Cost of Crashes in South Africa, the Road Traffic Management Corporation (RTMC) states that a staggering figure of R143 billion was spent on road traffic crashes for the year 2015. Of this figure, 21.3 billion was for vehicle repair costs, while R99 billion went to human casualty costs. These figures are quite alarming, notwithstanding the number of unreported crashes.
As one of SAIA’s key focus areas, we have always encouraged and promoted road safety initiatives as these not only minimise the risks associated with accidents – leading to insurance claims – but could also save human lives. We are of the belief that this could just be one of the tools that can be used to promote responsible driver behaviour and deter would-be road traffic regulations transgressors. As a non-life insurance representative body, SAIA would like to encourage all road users to abide by the rules of the road, always exercise patience, and to remember that our national roads are a shared public resource.
The Business for Road Safety (BRS) forum, formed in 2014 by SAIA in collaboration with other business association stakeholders will officially be launching a road safety pledge on 3 September 2019. The objective of the forum is to find sustainable solutions aimed at reducing the number of accidents and fatalities on South African roads. We believe that this initiative, in collaboration with the SAIA Road Safety Strategy approved by the SAIA Board as a key priority area which is currently under development by SAIA will go a long way in helping to mitigate road traffic risks. It is through these industry initiatives that we seek to support the efforts of the Department of Transport in addressing road safety issues, particularly those aligned with international campaigns such as the Decade of Action for Road Safety 2011 – 2020.
Transformation remains a key focus area for the non-life insurance industry. As such, the industry’s procurement data collection initiative as approved by the SAIA Board has begun in compliance with the new transformation section of the SAIA Code of Conduct. We hope that this initiative will provide a data platform from which the industry can extract and collate procurement trends, and quantitatively report on industry transformation performance with improved certainty, whilst assisting to align industry projects to address potential challenges.
On 27 August 2019, the Minister of Finance, Mr Tito Mboweni released a paper titled: “Economic transformation, inclusive growth, and competitiveness: Towards an Economic Strategy for South Africa” that attempts to translate the broad outcomes of inclusive growth, economic transformation, and competitiveness into specific programmes and draw on a range of domestic and international literature to support these policy priorities. The paper draws on the National Development Plan (NDP), outlining five themes and the contribution of growth reforms within each theme that prioritise economic transformation, inclusive growth and competitiveness.
The National Treasury has called on members of the public to make comments on the paper and SAIA will be making its own submission on behalf of the non-life insurance industry after consulting with its members.
SAIA Chief Executive