By Ray-Ann Sedres, Sanlam Chief Transformation Officer

The third Sanlam Transformation Gauge scored SA Inc. a low level 3, based on the average score of the 14 542 companies involved. A key theme that once again emerged was that the current B-BBEE system is not representative of the actual state of transformation in the workplace. In fact, this is far behind what scorecards reflect. Companies pour billions of rands into compliance efforts, but inequality is increasing in South Africa, which the World Bank already ranks as the most unequal country in the world. We need fast, shared impact at scale. That requires creative thinking and collaboration.

This year, almost all scorecard elements failed to reach their targets, except for socioeconomic development. It’s becoming clear we need a system overhaul to address the systemic challenges buried deep in South Africa’s DNA. The solution doesn’t lie in greater regulation or a bigger compliance burden. We must be audacious. Now is the time for transformation by deliberate design. We need a big-picture vision that takes a broader view of transformation, with long-term structural change as the goal. We need new ways to measure success by impact, not just input.

As a purpose-led group, Sanlam is committed to empowering all Africans to be financially confident, secure and prosperous. This isn’t possible in a country fractured by deep fault-lines of inequality. As such, our notion of transformation goes far beyond compliance. We are privileged to have the stature and stability to help change the nation’s narrative. To foster socio-economic inclusion and drive an agenda of deliberate change. We’re pushing the boundaries of traditional transformation in four pivotal ways:

  • Adopting a broader view of transformation, where we contribute to sustainable growth, higher investment, job creation, reduced inequalities and deracialised economic activity.
  • Our impact in Africa

We touch more than 32 million lives across Africa and over 22 million lives in India and Malaysia, with a target of 50 million for Africa by 2025. Sanlam has an opportunity to serve as an inclusivity champion and uplift the previously disadvantaged and excluded members of society, enabling access and participation in financial services.

  • Linking our group-wide core capabilities to furthering socio-economic transformation: We have a massive bank of expertise we can leverage to move the needle.For example, we know that in emerging economies, +70% of jobs are generated by SMMEs, contributing up to 40% to a country’s GDP. So, Sanlam has put its might into nurturing the nation’s SMMEs through a multifactor approach, from risk management and employee benefits offerings to Enterprise and Supplier Development contributions of R225 million in 2022. In addition, we founded the Sanlam Investments’ Investors’ Legacy Range and Resilience Funds, which both aim to create and preserve jobs, primarily in the small business sector. We run an ongoing Enterprise and Supplier Development Programme that has directly and indirectly created and sustained 3,578 jobs since inception. We also use procurement to push our transformation agenda, with R4.4 billion spent on SMEs, R4.7 billion spent on black-owned suppliers, and R2.6 billion on black-women owned suppliers in 2022 . Our goal is to unlock opportunities for local procurement in host countries across the continent. We’ve only scratched the surface and the full force of our skills. We’ll continue to draw upon all our strengths to be a catalyst for sustainable change.
  • Knowing we cannot do it alone. The scale of transformation required calls for hyper-collaboration. With 120 105 employees globally, and by leveraging our extensive partner network, we believe we can ignite a catalytic reaction to set change in motion. This is our rallying cry to Africans everywhere. Let’s act now, together.

This is the moment to go beyond tick-box compliance in a system that isn’t serving us. Sanlam is committed to fostering greater financial inclusion through accessible insurance and investment solutions across Africa, a sustained focus on job creation and enterprise growth, infrastructure development and trade solutions, and skills- and socio-economic development through inclusive education. We’re dedicated to driving equal opportunities for all. We urge corporate SA to come together. We’re at a bellwether moment in our history. Let’s make decisions our young people will thank us for.

To download your copy of the 2023 Sanlam Transformation Gauge, click here

If you missed the event you can watch it here

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