By Karl Socikwa

On 20 July, Sanlam, in partnership with Sunday Times Business Times, will release the 2022 Sanlam Gauge report into transformation and empowerment in South Africa. This is the second year that the consolidated annual report will delve into SA Inc’s transformational progress with a view to sparking dialogue and finding ways to improve collective outcomes in the journey to societal equality.

The Pan-African Sanlam Group, founded 104 years ago, is driving change and addressing inequality from myriad angles, including announcing two new continent-wide partnerships in the past year.

Empowerment and transformation at Sanlam

Karl Socikwa, Sanlam’s group executive for market development and sustainability, says the group has a rich history of transformation. “Sanlam was part of some of the earliest and largest black economic empowerment deals in South Africa. We are built on a solid foundation of fostering financial confidence, security and prosperity.

“We grew concerned when we saw that some of the powerful objectives upon which transformation and BEE were based had – in some instances, not all – become more about scorecards and certificates, rather than correcting the enduring deep chasms in our society. We wanted to play a role in placing the focus firmly back on improving the lives of millions of people.”

He says Sanlam believes that transformation and empowerment should be constantly analysed, improved and reinvigorated. “We need fresh energy to accelerate the public and private sectors’ journeys towards equality. This was our driver for working alongside our partners in the Gauge.”

Empowerment across the continent

Socikwa says Sanlam’s approach across the continent is intricately woven into the fabric of the organisation and into its purpose – to help all Africans live with financial confidence.

“Since we released the last Sanlam Gauge, we have announced two strategic partnerships across Africa. Both were selected because they enable us to give Africans access to financial products at scale. Access to financial vehicles that protect and grow wealth is the fundamental starting point for building financial resilience in a society – insurance to protect what you have, investments to grow your money.

“Our partnership with MTN has already seen us sell 14 million policies at an average premium of just R4. And our more recent R33 billion joint venture with Allianz will strengthen both our and Allianz’s offerings in 29 high-growth African nations.”

Focus in South Africa

“Locally, alongside myriad financial education and education initiatives, we have allocated millions in discretionary capital to funds and programmes to give small, medium and micro enterprises (SMMEs) access to finance and markets – two of their biggest challenges,” says Socikwa.