The South African Motor Body Association (SAMBRA) has sent out an urgent alert to its members regarding outstanding payment from Nzalo Insurance for repair work authorised and completed. The national body, which represents almost 1 000 motor body repair businesses across South Africa, and accounts for over 80% of all insured repair claims in the country, says some of the payments have been outstanding since May this year.
“This has left us in the unenviable position of having undertaken over R2m worth of work on assets to date based on an agreed authorisation and the accompanying assurance from various brokers and intermediaries that this would be settled by Nzalo,” said Richard Green, national director of SAMBRA.
Nzalo Insurance was acquired by Vele Investments, VBS Mutual Bank’s alleged main shareholder. VBS Mutual Bank is currently under curatorship and a liquidation order was granted by the Gauteng High Court for Vele Investments on 1 August. Green says they have received no communication regarding the status of Nzalo Insurance and have sent an urgent communication to Petros Chimanga, the managing executive of Nzalo.
He says that legally SAMBRA is within its rights to retain or, return and retain if already released, any vehicle if the customer or their insurer fails to make payment on the due date for services rendered. “The customer will then be liable for any outstanding invoices as well as for costs associated with storage and administration. “It is not an ideal situation for either party and we are urgently seeking direction from the Financial Sector Conduct Authority (FSCA),” said Green.
If the regulatory authorities do not provide members with assurances, SAMBRA will have no choice but to invoke its members’ rights to retail client vehicles until full payment for all services rendered is settled in full.