South Africa: Leading African Insurance

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


This chapter traces the history of the South African insurance industry. The first South African insurance company to be founded in Cape Colony was the Zuid-Afrikaansche Brand en Levensversekering Maatschappij in December 1835. A decade later this was followed by the formation of the South African Mutual Life Assurance Society in 1945, which modelled itself on the Scottish Equitable Mutual Life Assurance Society, which was later called Old Mutual. The general growth in the sector continued until by 1861, more than twenty insurance companies operated in the Cape. After the mineral discoveries in the late 1860s, many UK companies extended their business to Johannesburg, while Australian, American, and New Zealand insurance concerns also sought benefit from the rapidly growing urban population and the high risks associated with the mining industry. By the turn of the century, more than fifty foreign insurance companies were doing business in the Cape alone.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationWorld Insurance
Subtitle of host publicationThe Evolution of a Global Risk Network
PublisherOxford University Press
ISBN (Electronic)9780191744709
ISBN (Print)9780199657964
Publication statusPublished - 20 Sept 2012


  • Insurance companies
  • Insurance history
  • Scottish equitable mutual life assurance society
  • South african insurance industry
  • Zuid-afrikaansche brand en levensversekering maatschappij

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Business,Management and Accounting


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