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Sanlam Named Top Empowerment Awards’ Business of the Year

3 August 2022

On 25 July, Sanlam’s extensive transformation efforts were recognised when the group was named TopCo’s Top Empowerment Company: Business of the Year. As a purpose-led business, Sanlam is committed to helping millions of Africans live with confidence.

The group continues to focus deeply on empowering its employees and the communities in which it operates throughout the continent.

The largest non-banking financial services group in Africa was also named Top Empowered Company in the Education and Skills Development category for the work undertaken by the group in primary and secondary school education programmes in communities, skills development and financial education.

Karl Socikwa, Sanlam Group Executive: Market Development and Sustainability, says, “This is a huge moment for us at Sanlam as this recognition is a testimony to the work we have done to advance transformation in our organisation and across South Africa. We believe that everyone should benefit and participate in the mainstream economy of the country.”

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Karl Socikwa

The Top Empowered Company: Business of the Year is awarded to the organisation that best demonstrates excellence in all aspects of empowerment and transformation. It looks at the organisation’s empowerment status and how it has maintained a consistent Level 1 B-BBEE rating.

The awards come hot on the heels of last week’s release of the 2022 Sanlam Gauge, a holistic measurement of economic transformation in South Africa, accounting for all elements of Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment (B-BBEE) emphasising the group’s deep commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion.

Transformation and empowerment drive

Socikwa outlines strides made in transformation and empowerment over the last year. “In 2021, 92% of our employee onboarding in South Africa were black employees and 56 were senior black leaders. We are now 49% black-owned, and 23% black-female-owned, far exceeding industry targets. This sets us ahead of the ownership targets for our industry. Last year, we also became the largest black-owned asset manager in South Africa, via our asset management arm, Sanlam Investments.

Currently employing 20,066 in South Africa, 77% of Sanlam’s employees are black and 62% are female.

“While we have made progress, we know there is still much work to be done and we will continue to focus on deliberate transformation, particularly at senior management, executive and ownership level.”

Education and skills development

The award for Education and Skills Development celebrates intensive learnerships and skills programmes that support youth development and promote career awareness for black employees.

To that end, the award recognised the work of the Sanlam Foundation, as well as that of the Sanlam Human Capital division.

One of the Foundation’s guiding principles is: building a robust economy starts with well-educated youth. In 2021, Sanlam invested R40 million in educational programmes through its foundation which resulted in 292 jobs in the educational sector. In addition, 247 schools and 38,269 beneficiaries benefited – of which 92% were black.

Nozizwe Vundla, Head of the Sanlam Foundation, says, “At Sanlam, we take education seriously. Through the Sanlam Foundation’s literacy and numeracy programmes and the skills development efforts of our Human Capital colleagues, we are working relentlessly to upskill people in underserved communities and develop a pipeline of talented graduates to join Sanlam’s workforce. Our overarching objective is always to make a measurable and meaningful impact, and it feels great to have our efforts validated in this way.”

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Nozizwe Vundla

Internally, significant time and financial resources are being invested in training and developing Sanlam’s people. “We spent just over R908 million on training in 2021: R283 million focused on black male employees and R408 million on black females. More than 2,000 managers took part in our group leadership programmes, which included mentorship, digitisation, management development and transformational leadership learnings,” concludes Socikwa.

The TopCo awards have been running for 21 years and celebrate South African individuals and organisations that have excelled at transformation. This year’s awards were themed “Africa Driving a Transformed Economy”.

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