Sasria SOC Ltd – Insurers for special risks in South Africa.

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Exceptional Risk Cover

Insuring companies against damage and financial losses caused by riots, public disorder, labour disturbances, civil unrest, strikes and lockouts makes Sasria one of the most exciting insurance companies to work for.

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The people of Sasria

Letlhogonolo Tau

Customer relationship officer

Why did you choose insurance as a career and how did you join the industry?

I had a passion for financial service, so I started in the banking industry. When I was looking for a new challenge, insurance provided the best and most diverse option. I also chose the industry because of my understanding of the concepts and benefits associated with insurance.

What courses did you study to reach this part of your career?

I studied risk and operations management.

Are you still studying; and if so, what are you studying? Will you continue with studies?

Yes, I am currently studying for a certificate in short-term insurance through Milpark Business School. I will definitely continue studying as I believe in continuous improvement and my thirst for knowledge keeps me motivated to carry on studying.

What advice would you give to students who are unsure about what they want to study or whether they want to study at all?
Understand your personality, drive and passion; talk to people in the insurance industry and the IISA. After you have gathered all the relevant information and you believe insurance is for you, go for it.

What do you most enjoy about your work?

I thrive on the challenges thrown at me daily and working with and meeting people from different cultures and backgrounds. I also appreciate the role Sasria plays in our economy given the recent rise in incidents related to the special risks that we cover.

Why would you recommend a career in insurance to young South Africans?

Insurance is a dynamic and opportunity-filled industry. With the right knowledge and attitude, you will thrive and grow. The industry also applies to all sectors of the economy. There are opportunities in marketing, sales, IT, claims, finance and HR. It is important, however, to have passion for what you do.

What misconceptions do people have about insurance?

Some people believe that insurance is not necessary and it is all about collecting premiums. This is not the case; insurance allows people and business to protect themselves against risks and it affords them the security to continue growing.

Tell us what you do in an average day.

My day involves managing and maintaining relationships with all insurance companies that we work with, as well as constantly striving to raise the Sasria profile. This changes daily as the role also involves attending various industry meetings and functions.

What would people be surprised to learn about you?

I can’t sing but at least I can dance.


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Themba Sibiya

Claims manager

Why did you choose insurance as a career and how did you join the industry?

I didn’t choose insurance as a career; I landed in this field after a short spell in engineering, but some things are just meant to be.

What courses did you study to reach this part of your career?

I studied internal auditing.

Are you still studying; and if so, what are you studying? Will you continue with studies?

I am currently doing a certificate in insurance through Milpark Business School and will continue studying in the insurance industry to further my professional development.

What advice would you give to students who are unsure about what they want to study or whether they want to study at all?

Do what you love and love what you do. I have always believed that those who do things that they are passionate about are much happier in their chosen field, whatever the course may be.

What do you most enjoy about your work?

I enjoy the fact that I learn new things every day. I also enjoy the interaction with smart and ambitious people; insurance covers a number of different business sectors, which affords constant opportunities to learn.

Why would you recommend a career in insurance to young South Africans?

The insurance industry is broad and includes a number of fields; IT, legal, engineering, finance, actuarial science and marketing.

What misconceptions do people have about insurance?

The Kasi phrase that people normally quote is: nithatha imali, bese kunzima ukubhadala meaning ‘insurance companies take money, but it’s difficult to get them to pay at the claims stage’. Obviously from the experience I have in the industry, I know having insurance of any kind is essential. Not all of us have surplus income to take care of a flooding day (rainy day).

Tell us what you do in an average day.

My day revolves around making sure that everyone is happy, both internally and externally, and that we are providing the best service to our clients.

What would people be surprised to learn about you?

For some strange reason I have recently started collecting hunting knifes. I do not know where the passion comes from, in case you were wondering.


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Mmakgomo Motalane

Senior claims controller

Why did you choose insurance as a career and how did you join the industry?

I did not choose insurance, I was lucky enough to land a job in the industry after finishing school, as I had not channelled myself into a specific field with the courses I majored in. Fortunately, I enjoyed it and decided to stay.

What courses did you study to reach this part of your career?
I studied a BCom degree in management and statistics.

Are you still studying; and if so, what are you studying? Will you continue with studies?
I am currently busy with the higher certificate in insurance. I will continue to study to improve my knowledge and bring myself up to date with changes that are taking place within the industry. I want to further my career and continuous education is important to future success.

What advice would you give to students who are unsure about what they want to study or whether they want to study at all?
Career counselling is the way to go. Career options are narrowed down in terms of personality traits, and they can help students realise what it is they really want to do. Researching the different types of careers is also helpful – information is more readily available on the Internet or at libraries.

It is important to start researching early as students will need to choose subjects in high school that will earn them a university entrance towards the course they want to study. Flexibility is another thing to keep in mind in terms of their choice of careers. They must allow themselves the luxury to pursue other careers when the first career choice does not work out.

What do you most enjoy about your work?
I enjoy the challenge of having to come up with solutions for complex claims.

Why would you recommend a career in insurance to young South Africans?
A career in insurance not only exposes you to the different aspects of the insurances industry that exist, but also to other types of related careers, which people may not be aware of, such as intermediary services and loss adjusting.

What misconceptions do people have about insurance?
There are many misconceptions, like insurers are just out to cheat people of their money, or the only thing you can do in the industry is sell life cover. People do not take insurance as a necessity until they are in trouble. People do not think one can have a career in this industry, but the financial services industry is the second-largest employer in South Africa.

Tell us what you do in an average day.
I authorise payments, deal with both internal and external complaints and queries. I do quality assurance on the claims and assist the team with technical matters. I also manage a team in terms of on the job training and personal development.

What would people be surprised to learn about you?
I wanted to be a doctor and when that did not work out, I opted to study commercial subjects.


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Lindiwe Magobholi

Risk manager

Why did you choose insurance as a career and how did you join the industry?
From high school, I had always wanted to be a part of the financial services industry and insurance happened to be one pillar within the industry that interested me. I joined the industry as an internal auditor in May 2010.

What courses did you study to reach this part of your career?
I have a BCom in financial accounting and honours in internal auditing both from the Pretoria University.
Are you still studying; and if so, what are you studying? Will you continue with studies?

Yes, I’m currently busy my fourth paper of the CIA (certified internal auditor) exams. I will continue to explore what is in the market that I can study to advance my line of work.

What advice would you give to students whoare unsure about what they want to study or whether they want to study at all?

I would encourage them to look at education not as a choice but as a necessity, as it is vital for the human mind to keep on learning and advancing in life. One has to keep on progressing and education is the best way to that.

What do you most enjoy about your work?
The scenario analysis as part of managing risks and analysing the effectiveness of the controls we implement to minimise our exposure to risks.

Why would you recommend a career in insurance to young South Africans?
In this modern age, it is impractical to finance your potential misfortunes from your pocket. Insurance is the only way to ensure security and the industry offers viable career paths.

What misconceptions do people have about insurance?
I think the biggest misconceptions are that insurers are not legitimate; they do not pay claims and therefore not being there when you need them.

Tell us what you do in an average day.
I review the risks that Sasria is exposed to internally and externally to ensure that the business objectives are realised. Once the risks have been identified, I review whether our controls are adequate to ensure that the impact the risks might have is minimal. The industry is also exposed to regulation and I am responsible for ensuring that we meet any new risk requirements.

What would people be surprised to learn about you?
I serve as the secretary general on the board and executive committee of the SEIDET (Siyabuswa Educational Improvement and Development Trust), a non-profit organisation that advances education in Siyabuswa and surrounding areas in Mpumalanga.

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