The Sanlam Gauge will aim to deliver insights on sectoral rather than individual company performance to provide a more defined view of how sectors within South Africa are transforming. This is 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 chief executive officer of KhumaloCo Andile Khumalo says that, while the JSE compels companies to disclose their B-BBEE scorecards on SENS, the country still lacks a comprehensive gauge on the progress of transforming the economy in South Africa.

"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," says 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," adds Khumalo. 

"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," Khumalo says. 

"We need to deepen the B-BBEE transformation narrative on how we, as a country, are progressing in driving the effective participation of Black people in the mainstream economy. We believe that a credible measure and assessment of such progress on the implementation of B-BBEE policy is critical," Khumalo adds.

"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," says Khumalo. 

Karl Socikwa, group executive of market development at Sanlam, says that the Sanlam Gauge is 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. Corporate society's vital role as a key driver of economic inclusion and redress has never been more urgent," says Socikwa.

"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," concludes Socikwa.

The Sanlam Gauge will open up a platform for debate about the direction of the South African economy to drive action by cutting through the bottlenecks holding the country back.

The research will be conducted by Intellidex. The B-BBEE Commission will also participate as an interested party, availing its reports and data for use in the research.

The inaugural Sanlam Gauge event will take place in May 2021, presented by Arena Events. This will be followed by the publication of the Sanlam Gauge research findings in the Sunday Times Business Times.

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