Sasria SOC Ltd., South Africa’s government insurance company that covers special risks is seeking US$ 1.7 billion from President Cyril Ramaphosa’s, in claims to cover for the damage businesses suffered during the July 2021 riot.
The rioting that erupted in some parts of South Africa in July over former President Jacob Zuma’s imprisonment, caused damages worth $1.7 billion, which is equivalent to R25 billion, according to the state insurance company handling the claims.
Sasria’s executives addressed the country’s Parliament and asked for a financial bailout from state coffers to cover the shortfall it will face in settling all claims.
During the riot, more than “300 people died and more than 200 shopping centres were looted in the KwaZulu Natal and Gauteng provinces”.
The rioters ransacked shops and stole groceries, liquor, electrical appliances, and clothes, according to official figures. Also, factories and warehouses were robbed and burned down.
This social unrest (riot) damaged South Africa’s economy, as freight trucks were burned in KwaZulu-Natal, key highways that used to ferry goods from Indian Ocean ports to the other parts of the country were also shutdown.
Zuma’s arrest for refusing to comply with the Constitutional Court order to testify at a state-backed inquiry investigating corruption allegations during his presidential term from 2009 to 2018, inspired this riot, reports revealed.
The Former President was “sentenced to 15 months imprisonment but this past weekend he was placed on medical parole after spending two months at the Estcourt Correctional Center, where he was mostly housed in the prison’s medical wing”, reports reveal.
Zuma’s corruption trial, where he is accused of receiving bribes from French arms manufacturer Thales, during the country’s controversial purchase of arms in 1999, has been postponed to September 20 by mutual consent between state lawyers and his defence team.
South Africa’s government economic recovery
The state-owned insurer revealed that, the “claims for the unrest-related damage were expected to reach 20 billion rand, well above the R7 billion ballpark figure that was first expected. The total economic impact is estimated to be around R50 billion”.
However, Mr. David Mabuza, South Africa’s Deputy President disclosed that “while government has developed a host of economic support mechanisms for businesses and ordinary livelihoods that were affected by the riot”, government’s resources are not sufficient to solve the damages caused.
The Deputy President further revealed that the Department of Small Business Development, and the Department of Trade, Industry and Competition are leading interventions aimed at assisting businesses impacted by the riot.
Also, R2.3 billion will be channelled to small businesses that are not covered by Sasria.
“To stimulate the recovery of the economy, R2.3 billion has been allocated to support businesses affected by restrictions from Covid-19 as well as the looting and destruction of infrastructure during the unrest.”Mr. David Mabuza
In the meantime, Sasria revealed that, the damages that resulted from the riot, happens to be one of the costliest since the last ten (10) years.
“South Africa’s riots were among the most expensive in the world in the last 10 years, surpassing damages caused in riots in various U.S. states over the killing of George Floyd in 2020, which cost an estimated $1.5 billion in damages”.Sasria SOC Ltd
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