Sustainable development report 2015 | Annual report 2015

Prosperous society

Prosperous society

Our business is about planning for tomorrow. This means helping our customers to build a more secure, prosperous future for themselves, their families and communities. It is a role that is rooted in our founding purpose: to help all South Africans lead their best lives possible.


Sanlam recognises that it has a responsibility to create and preserve wealth for its clients. At the same time, we understand our responsibility to ensure that previously disadvantaged South Africans and their communities are given the skills and support to participate more equally in the national economy. As Wealthsmiths™, we are in the business of building legacies. Accordingly, we have a profound desire to make a real and positive difference when it comes to creating lasting value for all.

Through our products and services, we aim to redistribute wealth more equitably over time. The business itself is also transforming and making progress in the transformation of its distribution channels. Finally, we recognise our obligation to involve all citizens in creating and preserving wealth through financial literacy and education programmes. Here, the Sanlam Foundation plays a critical role in building a prosperous society.

Key Performance Indicators

Prosperous society material issues

We focus on the following material issues:

Impact of products and services

R145 399 million wealth distributed.

Transformation and empowerment

Sanlam maintained its level 2 rating against the FSC. We improved our score to 89,69 in 2015 compared to a score of 89,14 from 2014.

Financial literacy and education

R9,4 million spent on financial literacy – 14 155 learners, 51 schools and 19 806 students, 10 universities and 18 451 community members benefited from the Sanlam Foundation during 2015.

Impact of products and services

People are saving less for their retirement

The long-term insurance and investment industry’s role is to create wealth and enable a prosperous society for South Africa’s citizens.


The general picture of the savings industry in South Africa continues to deteriorate. People are not saving enough for their future, resulting in an increased burden on the state as they grow older. There are many reasons for this, including the increased cost of living and rising levels of indebtedness.

Despite the growth in aggregate assets of retirement funds in South Africa, the 2015 Sanlam Benchmark Survey showed that the average South African pensioner receives a pension amounting to just 29% of pre-retirement salary. A study conducted by the Association for Savings and Investment South Africa (ASISA) in 2014 shows that the difference between insurance need and insurance cover, referred to as the ‘insurance gap’, has increased from R18,4 trillion in 2010 to R24,0 trillion in 2013 (R9,3 trillion in respect of death and R14,7 trillion in respect of disability cover). In response to these challenges, the government is taking active steps to reform South Africa’s retirement industry.

Sanlam’s response

Sanlam’s strategy remains unchanged. We continues to do everything in our power to build trust with our clients in line with the principles of Treating Customers Fairly (TCF).


This strategy comprises three main components:

  • Identify what clients need in relation to what they can afford
  • Ensure clients understand what savings/insurance product they are committing to
  • Follow through on our commitment to create wealth for our clients in accordance with what they have purchased.

Sanlam is also playing an instrumental role in shaping the reform agenda. For example, we continue to place a strong emphasis on encouraging employers to take a more proactive role in safeguarding their employees’ future wellbeing by cultivating a stronger savings culture in the workplace.

We have also anticipated the government’s imperative to reduce fees by developing our own fee model for umbrella funds that is both consistent and transparent. In addition, we support initiatives that will make it more difficult for people to cash in their pension funds when they change jobs.

View wealth accumulated chart

View wealth distributed chart A

View wealth distributed chart B

View wealth distributed chart C

Transformation and empowerment

Why this is important

For Sanlam, transformation and empowerment are social and business imperatives. Given our position in society, we recognise that we have a crucial part to play in transforming South Africa’s economic landscape to include all South Africans, while giving everyone the chance to participate meaningfully in the mainstream economy. Transformation is one of the five key strategic pillars underpinning our business strategy and will continue to shape our approach to sustainable development.


The aspects of transformation and empowerment that impact our business are defined by the dti’s Codes of Good Practice (CoGP) and take into account the specific challenges facing the financial services industry.

Through the Association for Savings and Investment South Africa (ASISA), Sanlam has played an active role in negotiating a revised Financial Sector Code (FSC) scorecard with the government. The revised scorecard was introduced in February 2016.


We have made steady progress against our transformation objectives over the last seven years, improving from level 4 to level 2 over this period. Our total black ownership percentage, as per the FSC rules, was 30,40% as at 31 December 2015 (2014: 31,33%).

View verified FSC scorecard

The Sanlam Foundation

Sanlam’s care for the communities in which it operates has evolved from mostly donations to a comprehensive corporate social investment (CSI) strategy.


The Sanlam Foundation strategy is aligned with our core business strategy and provides focused contributions to areas of significant impact.

The focus areas of the Foundation rest on three pillars: consumer financial education, socio-economic development and enterprise development.

View table

Preferential and responsible procurement

We recognise that transforming our supply chain by changing the way we procure goods and services represents an important contribution towards creating a more equitable and sustainable society.


In particular, increasing the amount we spend with small, medium and micro-enterprises-remains high on our priority list.

We link procurement-related opportunities for our suppliers to our BBBEE scorecard's enterprise development (ED) component. We continue to face challenges when it comes to ensuring the viability of all these suppliers, however, with room for improved performance. Linked to our FSC score on preferential procurement, we spent 37,32% of our total procurement budget on small and micro enterprises in 2015, versus 32,3% in 2014.

Enterprise development

In 2015, Sanlam invested R9,2 million in enterprise development.


In line with recent changes to the FSC scorecard, our aim is to treat enterprise development and preferential procurement as two sides of the same coin. Over the last year we have taken specific steps to align these parts of our business more closely.

In 2015, 37,32% of our procurement spend went to SMMEs, and we took active steps to increase the percentage of black owned-businesses and black women-owned businesses. We continue to implement our enterprise and supplier development strategy with three partners: the Association for Savings and Investment South Africa (ASISA), Shanduka Black Umbrellas and TSiBA Ignition centre.

Enterprise development: emerging markets

As our footprint continues to expand beyond South Africa, our focus on developing local suppliers in our emerging markets is set to intensify. To date, our approach has been to identify viable local partners in our new territories and then work in partnership with them to implement our strategy. Although it is still early days, we are already utilising local marketing suppliers and implementing our updated branding guidelines in various countries outside South Africa.

Case studies


In 2015, the ASISA Enterprise Development (ED) Fund continued to establish enterprise and supplier development capabilities in partnership with ASISA member companies. The first project, initiated in partnership with Sanlam, proved hugely successful in 2014.

Over the past two years of running the programme, a total of 112 SMEs received 5 828 hours of business development support valued at R6,4 million. This helped to produce an average increase in revenue growth of 19% and create 75 new jobs.

The programme achieved notable results for some of the enterprises during 2015:

  • Waste Want (waste management) R3 million SME growth investments deployed from the ASISA ED Fund (2014). Won a City of Cape Town tender worth over R3 million.
  • Liquid Thought engaged with PwC through the ASISA network for performance management and an incentive scheme.
  • Office Box successfully registered as a supplier for Sanlam Business Assist. In addition, the enterprise received additional funding from Seartech. Office Box has also started on a drive to hire more staff.
  • Reynolds Autocare researched the ‘going green’ model – the company wants to be the first panel beater to go green.
  • Judante Building Solutions are officially 33% black owned. In addition there is a potential R3 million investment by the ASISA ED Fund.
  • Legaci Dry Cleaning submitted a proposal to Sanlam Alice Lane. The enterprise is currently looking for funding for expansion.
  • Moving Ads experienced a difficult period for the business with cash flow seriously impacted. Time was spent on getting new business in and building were potential relationships.
  • D and P Auto increased revenue and profitability, with targeted sales. Customer tracking and protocol implemented.
  • Stanhope Auto investigated new business opportunities with Metro file.
  • Fireworkx investigated new business opportunities with Metro file.
  • Stanhope Auto renewed its contract with Sanlam and held in-depth strategy sessions.

Shanduka Black Umbrellas (SBU) works with smaller 100% black-owned and black women-owned businesses and supports them towards becoming supply chain ready. Sanlam’s association with SBU dates back to December 2013, when the two partners signed an ESD agreement with two principal aims:

  • To identify 20 100% black-owned enterprises with a turnover of less than R5 million per year to offer support and development through the SBU incubation programme
  • To identify five additional black women-owned enterprises with a turnover of less than R5 million and proven track records, that are supply chain ready, for possible opportunities within the Sanlam supply chain.

Sanlam’s sourcing and procurement departments continue to work with SBU to develop an understanding of the procurement opportunities available within the Sanlam supply chain, so that the remaining three businesses can be recruited into the supplier development programme.

This organisation works with larger black-owned enterprises that have significant scale and experience and are close to being supply chain ready. The centre offers practical opportunities to maximise ESD activities. The joint partnership with Sanlam focuses on growing enterprises through collaboration between small and big businesses. The aim is to assist SMMEs with skills and technology transfer, supplier development, and creating marketing opportunities.

Together, TSiBA and the Sanlam Foundation have started recruiting for the 2015 – 2016 enterprise development programme. The new participants will enjoy the full benefits of this programme, while the 2014 – 2015 participants will receive mentoring.

Financial literacy and education

Financial literacy and education are essential to the sustainable economic development of our country. Through the Sanlam Foundation and our business units, we contribute significantly towards raising South Africa’s notoriously low levels of financial literacy. Our work in this area is designed to improve financial decision making among consumers by exposing them to consumer financial education (CFE).


Our commitment to improving financial literacy levels to mitigate these challenges aligns directly with the Treating Customers Fairly (TCF) regulations and with National Treasury policy. During the year under review, we spent R9,4 million on consumer financial education initiatives, reaching a total of 17 502 South Africans across the country.

Consumer financial education projects

Launched as a pilot in June 2014 through a partnership between Sanlam and Avocado Vision, the Money fo Sho! project is designed to equip communities across South Africa with the financial skills and knowledge they need to make better financial decisions.

The current Money fo Sho! project trained 8 527 community members in seven provinces by the end of June 2015. One of the key recommendations arising from the successful outcome of the first phase of Money for Sho! was that the initiative should expand to cover worksites. This recommendation has given Sanlam Sky Solutions an opportunity to build contacts and business opportunities in the worksites involved. The programme reached 7 024 worksite learners within 285 sessions.

The key objective of this initiative is to present mineworkers with a range of solutions that enable them to manage their finances better, while also helping them understand employee benefit policies and salary statements. Training involved interactive workshops and industrial theatre to create a story-based approach.

In 2015, we trained 800 mineworkers in areas selected by the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) during the current pilot phase, with the emphasis on engaging shop stewards.

In 2013, SEB embarked on a trustee education and training initiative that set out to empower trustees with a better understanding of their duties and to sharpen their financial skills. A training programme with around 20 delegates from across three trade union federations was then launched. In 2015, the programme hosted 29 delegates representing 16 trade unions and trusts.

By the end of July 2015, the Sanlam for Professionals and Graduates programme reached 1 122 students across eight tertiary institutions. The objective of this series of interactions was to equip graduates with financial knowledge to guide their financial decisions once they graduate and earn their first salaries. This programme also includes Thuthuka bursary students at South African universities.

An independent assessment of the programme indicated a significant increase in knowledge and greater confidence in choosing financial products, combined with a stronger appreciation of how important it is to have financial goals and stick to a budget.

Education programmes

In 2015 the Sanlam Foundation added the Sulabh International Programme as one of its educational programmes. The initiative allows Sanlam to build a relationship with schools, and improve sanitation facilities and promoting hygiene practices at schools in South Africa. In 2015, R3 million was spent on this programme in six schools in Gauteng.

The Sanlam Foundation has chosen to prioritise maths and science education as a key focus area and has partnered with Protec to utilise a tested, innovative solution to positively impact on maths and science education levels.

The project was successfully piloted in the North West and Limpopo regions over a three-year period (2012 – 2014). The programme was extended for a further three years to replicate the project in other provinces. For the period 2015 to 2017 we are working with Protec in KwaZulu-Natal and Mpumalanga.

To date the project has achieved the following results:

  • 11- Number of schools reached (six in Nelspruit and five in Durban)
  • 100 - Total number of learners reached (50 per province)
  • 10 - Number of Protec staff members deployed on the project
  • 33 - Number of teachers who benefited through school support visits and workshops
  • 200 - Approximate number of parents reached.

The SI Vacation Work Development Programme provided 46 students with exposure to the Sanlam Group, supporting brand building among current graduates, who in the years ahead will be potential employees and/or clients. This brings to 258 the total number of students who have benefited from the programme since 2006.

In 2015 the programme impacted 46 final-year undergraduates, as well as Honours and Masters students from 10 universities. The goals of the 2015 programme were achieved by selecting the best candidates from a pool of 1 150 applicants from at least 22 tertiary institutions around the country.

In 2010, Sanlam introduced the Black Advisers Bursary, aimed at students registered for the new postgraduate diploma which seeks to increase the number of black certified financial planners in South Africa.

In 2015 Sanlam and the Sanlam Foundation awarded 10 bursaries of R31 000 each for students to attend courses in financial and entrepreneurial skills at Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University (NMMU). The Sanlam bursary programme has maintained a 66% retention rate of all recipients.

The Thuthuka Bursary Fund identifies academically strong learners who aspire to become chartered accountants. The Sanlam Foundation contributed R836 064 towards the fund in 2015, amounting to 16 bursaries. In addition, there are 11 Thuthuka graduate trainees currently working within the Sanlam Group. The first four of our trainees qualified at the end of 2015.

Since 2012, the Sanlam Foundation has funded a business challenge at NMMU. The competition is based on an internationally recognised business simulation programme, encouraging participants to be innovative in exercising entrepreneurial skills. A total of 155 students completed the challenge in 2015.

In partnership with the Regency Foundation Networx (RFN) and the provincial Department of Education (DoE), we extended the HIV&Me programme to eight schools in Limpopo during 2015. These eight schools participate in a comprehensive two-year programme that aims to entrench HIV/Aids knowledge and awareness at beneficiary schools.


Sanlam invests significantly in sponsoring a diverse range of good causes that align with our core values, resonate with our clients and deliver social value. We place a strong emphasis on measuring each sponsorship against a predetermined set of requirements to determine return on objectives as well as investment. In 2015, our sponsorship programme included the following causes:

Organised in partnership with the Cancer Association of South Africa, this annual countrywide amateur golf tournament attracted 37 000 participants and the support of 450 golf clubs. Together, they raised R3 567 843 for cancer research, prevention programmes and patient care.

A partnership between ASEM Running, the City of Cape Town and Western Province (WP) Athletics, the Sanlam Cape Town Marathon is Africa’s only IAAF Silver Label city marathon and the continent’s only carbon-neutral marathon. In 2015, it attracted over 15 800 participants who joined forces with over 50 charities to raise more than R700 000.

This international award-winning children’s edutainment programme runs six days a week on SABC1 and SABC2 as well as nine vernacular radio stations countrywide. In total, it attracts more than 2,5 million children aged between four and eight years, their parents and teachers. The programme has achieved a documented improvement in early childhood development, with a focus on numeracy, literacy and life skills.

Sponsored by the Motsepe Foundation and Sanlam, this is an annual national tournament hosting over 3 000 schools from all nine provinces, competing at regional, provincial and national levels. During 2015, a total of 85 325 learners took part, and 4 000 learners attended the finals of the tournament held at the Nike Centre in Soweto. A total of 30 top players have been scouted by various Premier Soccer League academies for permanent club employment.

Environmental stewardship

Having been in partnership with the World Wide Fund for Nature South Africa (WWF-SA) since 2007, Sanlam is committed to improving South Africa’s water security. The Group has already invested almost R30 million into this partnership, with an additional R20 million investment committed over the next three years.

The World Economic Forum recently ranked the water supply crisis as the number one global risk. WWF-SA’s aim between 2015 and 2017 is to upscale our impact in four key areas of freshwater:

  • Water source areas – securing South Africa’s ecological infrastructure for water security
  • Planning in a way that demonstrates that water matters
  • Water stewardship and water balance project – the role of business
  • Water-wise finance.

Staff engagement and involvement

The Sanlam Foundation team has partnered with Sanlam’s Group Human Resources to determine pilot staff involvement programmes. The Foundation has identified three programmes to be piloted:

  • Sanlam Learner Brilliance Programme: Mentorship of the 100 learners taking part in the programme
  • TSiBA Education: Opportunities exist for staff to lecture, tutor and mentor TSiBA students – relies heavily on volunteers
  • Teach Children to Save (TCTS): Opportunities exist for staff to sign up to volunteer to educate children at schools on the importance of saving and managing money.

Case study

The Sanlam Foundation recognises that there are few platforms that exist for the purpose of facilitating access, raising awareness, enhancing reach and linking people and organisations within businesses. The Foundation thus held its first CSI Market Day, in celebration of Mandela Day 2015.

The aim of the day was to introduce various NGOs and causes to staff, and in the true spirit of Madiba, encourage staff to sign up to volunteer for Mandela Day. The Market Day served as a platform for staff to interact with some of the Sanlam CSI partner organisations.

The organisations collectively received over R5 000 in donations from staff during the day. In addition TSiBA Education, The Community Chest and the SPCA secured a large number of volunteers for their various programmes.