IIG News

SASRIA Insights Session – 22nd May 2024

The event started with a warm welcome from the President of the IIG, Bukhosi Khumalo. Bukhosi welcomed all guests and spoke about the importance of resilience. Bukhosi went on to introduce the speakers and what can be expected of the day.


The first speaker, Mpumi Tyikwe, CEO of SASRIA, provided a historical overview of SASRIA, highlighting its origins following the 1976 unrest. He mentioned SASRIA’s role in offering insurance for special risks, particularly those linked to political unrest, stating, “SASRIA was born of trauma.” Mpumi discussed the potential impacts of the elections, noting the changes that uncertain times can bring to both the public and private sectors, which affects the economy. He identified emerging risks on SASRIA’s watchlist, like, the SA Fiscal Crisis and economic collapse, to name a few. Mpumi highlighted the significant claims from the July 2021 unrest, amounting to R37 billion, illustrating the potential for political instability post-elections. In July 2021, widespread unrest in KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng provinces, involved economic sabotage, violence, and looting, resulting in significant economic damage. Overall, the events highlighted deep-seated issues of governance, inequality, and public discontent in South Africa. He concluded with accurate predictions regarding a coalition government.

Another interesting take is that labour unrest has significantly reduced due to loss of income and man hours.


The next speaker, Christine Rodrigues, Partner at Bowmans, offered some legal perspectives. The formation of a coalition government, crucial when no single party holds a legislative majority, aims to uphold constitutional goals but faces apprehension due to potential instability, poor service delivery, and distrust seen in failed local government coalitions. Advantages include diverse representation and compromise-based policies, potentially enhancing long-term stability, while disadvantages include potential voter disconnect, instability with weak coalitions, and governance conflicts affecting service delivery. Essential for a strong coalition are capable leadership, robust inter-party frameworks, and adherence to constitutional principles. Urgency in coalition formation post-election arises from the need to elect a new president within 30 days, underlining constitutional imperatives and risks associated with legislative vacancy or dissolution.

Finally, Muzi Dladla, Executive Manager of Stakeholder Engagement, spoke about how protests evolve, emphasizing how these movements are shaped by changing beliefs, group dynamics, and public sentiments. Drawing from theories like Relative Deprivation and Social Identity, he explored motivations for protest participation and discussed the roles of leaders, protesters, and spectators in driving societal change. Muzi highlighted the real-life impacts of protests and stressed the importance of influencing public sentiment and reshaping perceptions of group dynamics. He supported strategic media campaigns that tell engaging stories and involve diverse audiences, aiming to raise awareness and inspire collective action.


The SASRIA Insights Session was informative. The session provided insights into the historical foundations and existing challenges faced by SASRIA, particularly considering potential post-election impacts and emerging risks. Mpumi Tyikwe’s discussion underscored the critical role of SASRIA in safeguarding against political and economic volatility, as displayed by the aftermath of the July 2021 unrest. Christine Rodrigues’ legal perspectives explained the complexities and implications of coalition governance, highlighting the need for strong leadership and constitutional adherence in navigating potential governance challenges. Lastly, Muzi Dladla’s compelling analysis of the evolution of protests points out the dynamic nature of social movements and the transformative power of collective action.


Together, these perspectives underscored the importance of resilience, adaptability, and proactive engagement in shaping a resilient future for South Africa.


Thank you to our Main Sponsor: SASRIA in partnership with Bowmans and Co-Sponsors: Clyde&Co and Syfinity.


Article Written by Deidre Henneberry | IIG Education