The role we play in society - celebrating 25 years of freedom

24 April 2019

On the 27 April 1994, life changed for millions of South Africans who, for the first time in their lives, could vote for a government of their choice. This democratic franchise previously denied to millions would open the door to restore people’s dignity and give them access to their basic humanity.

These historically defining elections saw South Africans from all walks of life, across our vast landscapes in cities and dorpies gathered in their millions, to claim their freedom by making their mark on that ballot paper.

It marked the beginning of rebuilding and transforming an economy and state institutions making them accessible to all South Africans. All sectors of society understood they had to work together within the Government of National Unity to rebuild South Africa.

While we have contributed in many different ways over the last 25 years of South Africa’s democracy, all of us need to continue examining the role we should play in society and as a business. We have made significant contributions to sport through our sponsorship activities,   understanding that sport has the ability to bring a nation together and promote social cohesion.

For Absa, in South Africa and beyond, we see our role as treating customers fairly and creating an environment where they have access to banking solutions that meet their needs allowing them to actively participate in the economy. It is important that we review and assess our relationships with all our service providers and stakeholders ensuring that we are fully compliant with the Financial Sector’s regulatory and legislative requirements. Our adherence to all the laws of the jurisdictions where we operate and regulations that govern us as a Financial Services Institution is critical to the development and maintenance of a democratic state.

When we look back at the last 25 years of our own 28 year existence, you will see that we made strategic business decisions directly linked to the changing socio political landscape. We understood that we needed to bring people into the mainstream economy by giving them access to basic banking products and services. Through a number of firsts in banking, we ensured that we bank the unbanked and through early innovation, we were able to grow our customer base. Financial inclusion and innovation in finance is still key in transforming economies and through this we give people access to the mainstream economy.

Today we speak about the Role we play in Society and as an organisation and we are committed to making people’s possibilities come to life.

In 2018 alone, we have made significant strides in supporting educational initiatives which in turn strengthens democracies across all the jurisdictions where we operate.

Our current landscape and how we impact lives through supporting education and educational initiatives

BG52 Absa 2018 Financial Results GROUP Mailer

These figures are more than just numbers, they represent the lives of people who now have the ability to be lifted out of poverty because one young adult will complete his/her studies and go on to become active in the economy.

They represent young high school scholars who have now been exposed to a place of work and have a better idea of what they want to do after their studies. An opportunity they never had before.

These numbers represent parents and individuals serving on School Governing Bodies who have been equipped with skills that will help them better manage the schools where they operate, giving our learners a better chance at success.

These numbers represent citizens who have now been empowered in basic financial literacy helping them achieve better results in managing their finances not leaving them in financial distress.

Through these actions, we continue to contribute to democracy and enabling our citizens to access a better life, filled with possibilities.

We believe in creating possibilities. But not the kind that only exists in the minds of dreamers; the kind that exists in the actions of doers. We believe in the possibility that comes from plotting a course, and purposefully following it. A course that is born from the minds of people who have the courage to take the steps, no matter how hard, to bring possibilities to life.

Disclaimer: The advice contained on this blog is for general purposes only and does not take into account individual circumstances, objectives or financial needs. Accordingly, readers are advised to seek appropriate advice from licensed professionals prior to making any investment, or taking up a financial product or service.