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What to do with 130,000 elephants? – environment chamber supports Botswana’s course on elephant populations

What to do with 130,000 elephants? – environment chamber supports Botswana’s course on elephant populations

Statement by the Namibian Chamber of Environment, representing 42 conservation groups.

A Sub Committee appointed by President Masisi of Botswana recently made its recommendations in a White Paper regarding the hunting ban and human-elephant conflict.

We, as Namibian Conservationists, including environmental NGOs, researchers, community representatives and conservancies, hereby join a group of international conservationists in voicing our support for Botswana’s consultative process to address the challenges associated with managing its large elephant population. We applaud President Masisi and Botswana’s parliament for establishing the consultative process that looks to balance wildlife conservation with the needs and aspirations of the citizens of Botswana.

Namibia has felt the burden of international pressure against our policies that encourage the devolution of rights over, and sustainable use of, natural resources. We therefore take this opportunity to stand in solidarity with Botswana. We would like to draw your attention to an article in Africa Geographic that sets forth the following important issues that have not been highlighted in other media reports covering this story.

1) President Masisi’s establishment of the subcommittee to conduct a thorough Social Dialogue is a welcome move towards a more democratic style of governance.

2) Masisi’s administration once more opened the research permit application system, which signals his understanding of the role of objective conservation research in finding new solutions to human-elephant conflict.

3) The process embarked upon by Masisi’s administration is a welcome return to Botswana’s historic emphasis on consultation with people at the grassroots level. This also presents an opportunity to strengthen Community-Based Natural Resource Management (CBNRM) in the country.

As Namibian organisations with extensive experience with the CBNRM programme in our country, we are especially interested in extending our support regarding point 3 above. This new dawn for Botswana will present many challenges and opportunities as the government once more involves local communities in wildlife management and conservation. We are therefore ready and willing to assist the government of Botswana in these important endeavours by drawing on the lessons we have learned in Namibia.

Yours in Conservation,

Namibian Chamber of Environment, supported by 42 member and partner organisations.

(Image by Conservation Action Trust)

List of supporting organisations:

  1. African Conservation Services cc
  2. African Foundation
  3. Ashby Associates cc
  4. A Speiser Environmental Consultants cc
  5. Brown Hyena Research Project Trust
  6. Cheetah Conservation Fund (CCF)
  7. Desert Lion Conservation Trust
  8. Development Workshop Namibia
  9. Eco Awards Namibia
  10. EduVentures
  11. Environmental Compliance Consulting
  12. EnviroScience
  13. Giraffe Conservation Foundation
  14. Gobabeb Research and Training Centre
  15. Greenspace
  16. Integrates Rural Development and Nature Conservation (IRDNC)
  17. JARO Consultancy
  18. Kwando Carnivore Programme
  19. N/a’an ku sê Foundation
  20. Namibian Associations of CBNRM Support Organisations (NACSO)
  21. Namib Desert Environmental Education Trust
  22. Namibia Biomass Industry Group (Incorporated Association not for gain)
  23. Namibia Bird Club
  24. Namibia Nature Foundation (NNF)
  25. Namibia Professional Hunting Association (NAPHA)
  26. Namibian Environment and Wildlife Society (NEWS)
  27. Namibian Hydrogeological Association
  28. NamibRand Nature Reserve
  29. Otjikoto Trust
  30. Research and Information Services of Namibia (RAISON)
  31. Rare & Endangered Species Trust (REST)
  32. Rooikat Trust
  33. Southern African Institute for Environmental Assessment (SAIEA)
  34. Save The Rhino Trust (SRT)
  35. Scientific Society Swakopmund
  36. Seabirds and Marine Ecosystems Programme
  37. Seeis Conservancy
  38. Sustainable Solutions Trust (SST)
  39. Tourism Supporting Conservation (Tosco) Trust
  40. Venture Media
  41. Zambia Community-based Natural Resource Management (CBNRM) Forum
  42. Zambia National Community Resource Boards (CRBs) Association

About The Author

Sanlam 2018 Annual Results

7 March 2019


Sanlam’s 2018 annual results provides testimony to its resilience amid challenging operating conditions and negative investment markets

Sanlam today announced its operational results for the 12 months ended 31 December 2018. The Group made significant progress in strategic execution during 2018. This included the acquisition of the remaining 53% stake in SAHAM Finances, the largest transaction concluded in the Group’s 100-year history, and the approval by Sanlam shareholders of a package of Broad-based Black Economic Empowerment (B-BBEE) transactions that will position the Group well for accelerated growth in its South African home market.

Operational results for 2018 included 14% growth in the value of new life insurance business (VNB) on a consistent economic basis and more than R2 billion in positive experience variances, testimony to Sanlam’s resilience in difficult times.

The Group relies on its federal operating model and diversified profile in dealing with the challenging operating environment, negative investment markets and volatile currencies. Management continues to focus on growing existing operations and extracting value from recent corporate transactions to drive enhanced future growth.

The negative investment market returns and higher interest rates in a number of markets where the Group operates had a negative impact on growth in operating earnings and some other key performance indicators. This was aggravated by weak economic growth in South Africa and Namibia and internal currency devaluations in Angola, Nigeria and Zimbabwe.

Substantial growth in Santam’s operating earnings (net result from financial services) and satisfactory growth by Sanlam Emerging Markets (SEM) and Sanlam Corporate offset softer contributions from Sanlam Personal Finance (SPF) and Sanlam Investment Group (SIG).

Key features of the 2018 annual results include:

Net result from financial services increased by 4% compared to the same period in 2017;

Net value of new covered business up 8% to R2 billion (up 14% on a consistent economic basis);

Net fund inflows of R42 billion compared to R37 billion in 2017;

Adjusted Return on Group Equity Value per share of 19.4% exceeded the target of 13.0%; and

Dividend per share of 312 cents, up 8%.

Sanlam Group Chief Executive Officer, Mr Ian Kirk said: “We are satisfied with our performance in a challenging operating environment. We will continue to focus on managing operations prudently and diligently executing on our strategy to deliver sustainable value to all our stakeholders. The integration of SAHAM Finances is progressing well. In addition, Sanlam shareholders approved the package of B-BBEE transactions, including an equity raising, at the extraordinary general meeting held on 12 December 2018. Our plan to implement these transactions this year remains on track.”

Sanlam Personal Finance (SPF) net result from financial services declined by 5%, largely due to the impact of new growth initiatives and dampened market conditions. Excluding the new initiatives, SPF’s contribution was 1% down on 2017 due to the major impact that the weak equity market performance in South Africa had on fund-based fee income.

SPF’s new business sales increased by 4%, an overall satisfactory result under challenging conditions. Sanlam Sky’s new business increased by an exceptional 71%. Strong growth of 13% in the traditional individual life channel was augmented by the Capitec Bank credit life new business recognised in the first half of 2018, and strong demand for the new Capitec Bank funeral product. The Recurring premium and Strategic Business Development business units also achieved strong growth of 20%, supported by the acquisition of BrightRock in 2017. Glacier new business grew marginally by 1%. Primary sales onto the Linked Investment Service Provider (LISP) platform improved by 5%, an acceptable result given the pressure on investor confidence in the mass affluent market. This was however, offset by lower sales of wrap funds and traditional life products.

The strong growth in new business volumes at Sanlam Sky had a major positive effect on SPF’s VNB growth, which increased by 7% (14% on a comparable basis).

Sanlam Emerging Markets (SEM) grew its net result from financial services by 14%. Excluding the impact of corporate activity, earnings were marginally up on 2017 (up 8% excluding the increased new business strain).

New business volumes at SEM increased by 20%. Namibia performed well, increasing new business volumes by 22% despite weak economic conditions. Both life and investment new business grew strongly. Botswana underperformed with the main detractor from new business growth being the investment line of business, which declined by 24%. This line of business is historically more volatile in nature.

The new business growth in the Rest of Africa portfolio was 68% largely due to corporate activity relating to SAHAM Finances, with the East Africa portfolio underperforming.

The Indian insurance businesses continued to perform well, achieving double-digit growth in both life and general insurance in local currency. The Malaysian businesses are finding some traction after a period of underperformance, increasing their overall new business contribution by 3%. New business production is not yet meeting expectations, but the mix of business improved at both businesses.

SEM’s VNB declined by 3% (up 6% on a consistent economic basis and excluding corporate activity). The relatively low growth on a comparable basis is largely attributable to the new business underperformance in East Africa.

Sanlam Investment Group’s (SIG) overall net result from financial services declined by 6%, attributable to lower performance fees at the third party asset manager in South Africa, administration costs incurred for system upgrades in the wealth management business and lower earnings from equity-backed financing transactions at Sanlam Specialised Finance. The other businesses did well to grow earnings, despite the pressure on funds under management due to lower investment markets.

New business volumes declined by 13% mainly due to market volatility and low investor confidence in South Africa. Institutional new inflows remained weak for the full year, while retail inflows also slowed down significantly after a more positive start to the year. The international businesses, UK, attracted strong new inflows (up 57%).

Sanlam Corporate’s net result from financial services increased by 4%, with the muted growth caused by a continuation of high group risk claims experience. Mortality and disability claims experience weakened further in the second half of the year, which is likely to require more rerating of premiums in 2019. The administration units turned profitable in 2018, a major achievement. The healthcare businesses reported satisfactory double-digit growth in earnings, while the Absa Consultants and Actuaries business made a pleasing contribution of R39 million.

New business volumes in life insurance more than doubled, reflecting an exceptional performance. Single premiums grew by 109%, while recurring premiums increased by a particularly satisfactory 56%.

The good growth in recurring and single premium business, combined with modelling improvements, supported a 64% (71% on a comparable economic basis) increase in the cluster’s VNB contribution.

Following a year of major catastrophe events in 2017, Santam experienced a relatively benign claims environment in 2018. Combined with acceptable growth in net earned premiums, it contributed to a 37% increase in gross result from financial services (41% after tax and non-controlling interest). The conventional insurance book achieved an underwriting margin of 9% in 2018 (6% in 2017).

As at 31 December 2018, discretionary capital amounted to a negative R3.7 billion before allowance for the planned B-BBEE share issuance. A number of capital management actions during 2018 affected the balance of available discretionary capital, including the US$1 billion (R13 billion) SAHAM Finances transaction. Cash proceeds from the B-BBEE share issuance will restore the discretionary capital portfolio to between R1 billion and R1.5 billion depending on the final issue price within the R74 to R86 price range approved by shareholders.

Looking forward, the Group said economic growth in South Africa would likely remain weak in the short to medium term future, and would continue to impact efforts to accelerate organic growth. The outlook for economic growth in other regions where the Group operates is more promising. Recent acquisitions such as the SAHAM transaction should also support operational performance going forward.

“We remain focused on executing our strategy. We are confident that we have the calibre of management and staff to prudently navigate the anticipated challenges going forward,” Mr Kirk concluded.

Details of the results for the 12 months ended 31 December 2018 are available at