Sasria, the risk and civil commotion insurer, has signed an agreement with short-term insurer Santam to join its Partnership for Risk and Resilience (P4RR) programme, with the aim of increasing collaboration between provincial and district disaster management centres, and to enhance the capacity of local government with fire and flood risk management.
Starting with the Ehlanzeni district municipality in KwaZulu-Natal, the insurers will focus on civil and labour unrest and student protests, which is often accompanied by fire risk to municipalities. “Through our involvement we will try and understand the drivers of potential community unhappiness, and then address it proactively to prevent any unrest or protest action,” says Cedric Masondo, Sasria MD.
Santam’s P4RR, previously known as BAAM, the Business-Adopt-A-Municipality initiative, is a cooperative partnership established in 2012 with the Department of Cooperative Governance. The initiative was originally established to assist municipalities address vulnerable levels of risk with regards to fire, flood and storm surge hazards in underprivileged communities. At the time, five municipalities were selected for the partnership.
“We have greatly improved the provision of disaster management services across several municipalities, in which more than five million people in 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.
“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,” says Lomberg.
Santam’s collaboration with the municipalities via P4RR has resulted in several contributions being made by the insurer 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.