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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Savings for life to build the economy for the people: the emergence of Afrikaner corporate conglomerates in South Africa 1918-2000
Author:Verhoef, GrietjieISNI
Periodical:South African Journal of Economic History (ISSN 1011-3436)
Geographic term:South Africa
economic history
External link:https://doi.org/10.1080/10113430909511216
Abstract:This paper explores the establishment and growth of Sanlam, the South African life assurance company. The history of Sanlam portrays an initiative by Afrikaner businessmen from the middle class and wealthy elite in the Cape during the early 1900s. Although its formation was primarily motivated by Afrikaner nationalist concerns, it was organized along sound business principles. As the initial social responsibility goals were achieved, its strategy was adjusted to compete in the growing modern South African and later global markets. The empowerment strategy of Afrikaners since the early decades of the 20th century is also analysed. This strategy depended on the mobilization of own resources, in this case savings in life assurance policies. Sanlam acted as the vehicle to strategize, plan and implement empowerment opportunities. Once this objective had been achieved, Sanlam started to promote Black economic empowerment. The paper focuses on three broad developments: the establishment and formative phase of Sanlam; the expansion, diversification and acquisition of business interests; and the return to core business once the initial aims were achieved. Notes, ref. [ASC Leiden abstract]