4 August 2023
At the forefront of this drive is the Sanlam Group, a purpose-driven financial services organisation that aims to help all Africans live with financial confidence. Through its recently announced acquisition of AfroCentric, Sanlam is aligning itself to offer a sliding scale of private healthcare options – from entry-level health insurance through to comprehensive medical aid offerings.
Sanlam announced its re-entry into healthcare late in 2021, with a commitment to making healthcare more affordable to South Africans. The latest acquisition sees Sanlam increase its shareholding in AfroCentric to 60%, solidifying a long-standing relationship between the two organisations that began in 2015. By becoming the majority shareholder, Sanlam aims to provide clients with a comprehensive, affordable offering that combines financial health and physical wellbeing.
Kanyiza Mkhize, CEO of Sanlam Corporate, says the stark reality is that affordable healthcare and access to medical aid remain elusive for many South Africans. “The Council for Medical Schemes’ report states that only 8.9 million South Africans have medical scheme coverage. This accounts for only 25% of the 16 million gainfully employed individuals in the country.
“Sanlam and AfroCentric share a common vision to converge financial and health services to create a healthier and more prosperous society. We are leveraging AfroCentric's capabilities and expertise in the healthcare sector, and working alongside them to shape an offering that takes full advantage of technological innovation to offer personalised and enhanced client experiences to corporates and individuals.”
Healthcare represents an area where digital advancements, such as disease management and preventative care, are making significant progress. AfroCentric's digital offerings include virtual medical consultations, facial health assessments, and hospital-at-home services.
Mkhize says one of the key benefits of this acquisition is the improved access to healthcare, especially for those who previously couldn't afford traditional medical aid. “Sanlam can now offer
primary healthcare insurance ensuring access to quality private healthcare at affordable rates. We are committed to financial inclusion, and this will significantly improve the overall well-being of individuals and communities.”
Ahmed Banderker, CEO of AfroCentric, says Sanlam's strategic vision, combined with AfroCentric's expertise, recognises the interconnectedness of financial wellbeing and physical health. “By integrating life insurance and health insurance, we aim to provide comprehensive, personalised, and affordable solutions that address all the life stages of their members. This integration will create a richer value proposition and better support the holistic needs of their clients.”
AfroCentric's extensive healthcare data assets, accumulated through the administration of over 3.8 million lives, will play a pivotal role in
Sanlam Health's product development. This data-driven approach ensures that Sanlam Health's offerings align with the evolving needs and preferences of clients, driving continuous improvement and innovation.