Arena Holdings, the Sunday Times Business Times and KhumaloCo have inked a partnership deal with financial services group, Sanlam to research and compile a report into a holistic measurement of economic transformation in South Africa accounting for all elements of broad-based black economic empowerment (B-BBEE).
The project, titled Sanlam Gauge, will be the first consolidated research report of its kind to provide insights on sectoral, rather than individual, company performance. The aim is to provide a defined view of how sectors within South Africa are transforming, so that players start working together to pull specific levers to action meaningful inclusivity, growth and transformation of their industries.
Co-founder of the Sanlam Gauge and CEO of KhumaloCo, Andile Khumalo, said that while the JSE compelled companies to disclose their B-BBEE scorecards on SENS, the country still lacked a comprehensive gauge on progress in transforming the economy.
“In addition to JSE-listed companies, there are very powerful levers that could drive economic participation of the majority of South Africans in medium-sized and large unlisted businesses as well as in state-owned companies and agencies,” said Khumalo.
“There is also the SME segment which, according to recent research, makes up 91% of formalised businesses, provides employment to about 60% of the labour force, and has a total economic output that accounts for roughly 34% of South Africa’s GDP. The Sanlam Gauge seeks to measure South Africa’s overall transformation performance as if it were a business. Our vision is to one day publish a B-BBEE Scorecard for South Africa Incorporated.”
Karl Socikwa, group executive of market development at Sanlam said the Sanlam Gauge was a seminal partnership in Sanlam’s transformation journey.
“In the midst of unprecedented events this year, the prevailing and critical imbalance in South African society has been brought to the fore once again,” he said.
“Corporate society’s vital role as a key driver of economic inclusion and redress has never been more urgent. We are therefore excited about the possibilities that this report presents. We hope that it will do far more than spotlight transformation in South Africa; we hope it will act as a platform for robust engagement through which we can learn from each other and grow together as a private sector deeply committed to working hard for a fair and transformed society.”
Khumalo agreed that the B-BBEE transformation narrative needed a credible measure and that the assessment of such progress on the implementation of B-BBEE policy was critical. “This is where we and our partners believe the Sanlam Gauge can deliver much needed direction on areas requiring more attention, to address the country’s high Gini co-efficient,” Khumalo said.
The inaugural Sanlam Gauge event will take place in May 2021, presented by Arena Events. This will be followed by the publication of the highly anticipated Sanlam Gauge research findings in the Sunday Times Business Times.
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