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A Mission to Insure the Homes of Millions of South Africans

Sugar, the company he launched earlier this year, sidesteps the need to produce a title deed by simply asking homeowners to name a replacement value. “They know how much it’ll cost to build a new one. The off-the-peg shack insurance, in contrast to the traditional type he offers for brick homes, is a case in point: Consumers choose from four predetermined replacement values and buy a voucher that entitles them to 12 months’ coverage. The cheapest option pays out $360 if a shack is destroyed by fire (informal settlements are plagued by devastating fires), a gas explosion or a natural disaster, and it costs only $10 for the year. Kubheka’s intimate understanding of his target market is already paying off. Despite launching just before the pandemic struck, Sugar has already attracted almost 5,000 customers, among them Makhadzi Miyen, an auditor at the National Home Builders Registration Council, who recently insured her mother’s house in rural Limpopo through Sugar.