SAIA Bulletin - June 2021

12 July 2021 South African Insurance Association


SAIA Bulletin - June 2021








From the Desk of the Chief Executive: Viviene Pearson


As the third wave of Covid-19 rages through South Africa’s economic hub, Gauteng, and the rest of South Africa, both public and private hospitals have reported an unprecedented demand for hospital beds. We are informed that the situation has been compounded by the fire that consumed some parts of Charlotte Maxeke Hospital in Johannesburg two months ago, and the continued closure of the Nasrec field hospital which would have opened capacity of almost a thousand beds, had it been functional. The new Delta variant, announced by President Cyril Ramaphosa as he moved the country to Alert Level 4 , is believed to be highly transmittable, and a call for all of us to remain vigilant and ensure that we abide by the healthcare professionals’ recommendations is as vital as it is relevant.

The vaccination programme has been progressing slowly, and we were informed that this was a result of some contaminated vaccines at a Johnson & Johnson factory in Gqeberha which had to be withdrawn and destroyed. With just over 2 million people having been vaccinated so far, this is a far cry from what the government had initially set out to achieve. Looking very sombre, the President echoed the words of former President Nelson Mandela “I have walked that long road to freedom. I have tried not to falter; I have made missteps along the way. But I have discovered the secret that after climbing a great hill, one only finds that there are many more hills to climb”. However, we are glad that the programme seems to be gradually progressing and will soon reach the younger and economically active age group of our population.

Given the current situation in our country with regards to the alarming Covid-19 infection rate,  it is appropriate to mention that a financial sector worker-based programme is currently being put in place by The Banking Association South Africa (BASA) on behalf of the financial sector, at the request of the National Department of Health (NdoH).  SAIA was invited by BASA, together with various other stakeholders, to participate in this initiative.  We have invited  our members to participate in this initiative in the interest of their employees and in support of the government vaccination drive, and have provided the current relevant information to enable such participation.  We welcome the positive response from our members and will continue to provide the latest information to enable such participation to our members as and when we receive it from BASA.  Currently, BASA is in the final stages of establishing the financial sector worker-based site in Sandton and making good progress with the establishment of the site in the Western Cape. SAIA and our participating members are on standby to register participating employees as soon as we receive the go-ahead from BASA. 

In the month of June, South Africa also celebrated Youth Day. A very important month that commemorates June 16, 1976, when students in Soweto protested the apartheid government’s determination to implement an earlier decision to teach African high school students through both English and Afrikaans, with Afrikaans used as the medium of instruction in the sciences and mathematics subjects. As the modern business and democratic South Africa, we continue to uplift our youth and recognise the growing industry skills gap and a need for financial inclusion as a priority. SAIA and its members play a very pivotal role in this space through consumer education programmes targeting tertiary institutions to continue to accelerate transformation in the financial literacy space. 

SAIA and its related divisions will be hosting its 22nd Annual General Meeting (AGM) which will take place virtually on Thursday, 22 July 2021 from 15:30 – 17:00.  At this event, our members will be required to cast their votes in the election of a new SAIA Board, which will take SAIA from August 2021 to July 2022. SAIA has been privileged to have our member CEOs serving tirelessly on the Board, and we are grateful to our members for their continued support in this regard. 

The Protection of Personal Information Act (POPIA) has come into effect on 1 July 2021 in South Africa, and to continue receiving this bulletin from SAIA, it is important that all subscribers give us consent to do so. Subscribers are at liberty to revoke this permission by unsubscribing from our distribution list at any time. A mailer was sent out to all SAIA Bulletin subscribers on 30 June 2021. 

Finally, I would like to bid farewell and thank two of SAIA staff members who left the organisation at the end of June 2021. These are Ms Susan Walls, who was our Insurance Technical Advisor and Ms Katlego Bolsiek, who was Manager: Insurance Risks. It was a pleasure working with both of them and the SAIA team will greatly miss them. We wish them both all the best in their new roles!

Viviene Pearson
Chief Executive  


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