JOHANNESBURG - JSE-listed South African financial services group, Santam Group, said on Thursday that it had dispatched special claims teams to affected areas following this week's catastrophic weather conditions in large parts of the country.
A severe storm and flash floods battered down building of public institutions, commercial properties, housing infrastructure, roads and bridges, utilities such as water and electricity and other infrastructure in Gauteng, KwaZulu-Natal and Mpumalanga on Monday and Tuesday, leaving a trail of destruction and more than 11 people dead.
The storm's destruction of property across the country is estimated to cost millions of rand, leaving a lot of residents in a financial lurch.
According to KwaZulu-Natal Premier, Willies Mchunu, the estimated costs to repair the 133 damaged schools is R136.5 million in KZN alone.
Santam, one of South Africa's largest general insurers, said that its focus over the past few days has been on deploying its emergency management plan.
Santam's executive head of claims and group sourcing, Ebrahim Asmal, said that the plan entails dispatching special claims teams to affected areas to work directly with intermediaries and clients.
"The severity and geographical spread of these events has placed our claims team under significant pressure. In situations like these, our priority is always to assist with emergencies, especially in cases where individuals have lost nearly everything as a result of the extreme weather events," Asmal said.
"In such situations, it usually takes a number of days to get a full picture of the damage, the cost and the extent of the claims received. We will be in a better position to provide a view on the impact of these extreme weather conditions in the next 48 hours."
Mchunu declared KZN a disaster area while Gauteng Premier David Makhura also declared some parts of Gauteng disaster areas.
- AFRICAN NEWS AGENCY