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Gauteng Business 2022/23

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The 2022/23 edition of Gauteng Business is the 13th issue of this highly successful publication that has established itself as the premier business and investment guide for the Gauteng Province. In addition to the regular articles providing insight into each of the key economic sectors of the province, a special feature on the growth and significance of the green economy is included in this edition. Every sector from agriculture to transport and logistics is referenced, with several Gauteng companies taking the lead in the field of creating a more sustainable future for themselves and for their clients. The fact that mining companies and others are starting to build facilities to generate power is significant for the country as a whole. Gold Fields’ 40MW solar project at its South Deep mine is one of the first of its kind and it is certainly a precursor of what we can expect to see a lot more of in the future. The unexpected fall from power in the province’s three big metropolitan municipalities in 2021 of the political party that is in charge at provincial and national level, the African National Congress, is noted in the Regional Overview. Whether this presages a change beyond the borders of Gauteng in elections to come remains to be seen, but the huge budgets which now fall under the control of coalition governments in Johannesburg, Tshwane and Ekurhuleni will certainly serve to sharpen the focus of ANC election planners for national elections in 2024.

INTERVIEW Controlled

INTERVIEW Controlled Marketing model encourages close relationships with customers Old Mutual Provincial General Manager: Sales and Distribution, Mathapelo Sipamla, discusses some of the challenges facing business in Gauteng. How many branches does Old Mutual have in Gauteng? There are 31 branches, of which 29 are field branches and two are in-house. We have a staff complement of 494, which includes advisers, junior and senior management and admin staff. How can customers stay in touch or transact remotely? Our Controlled Marketing model encourages close relationships with customers. Advisers need to ensure they are their customers’ go-to person. Our advisers own cellphones and laptops that assist them. During lockdown, we rolled out remote selling that allows the customer to accept a sale remotely though USSD. Mathapelo Sipamla BIOGRAPHY Mathapelo Sipamla has been with Old Mutual for the past 18 years, advancing through the ranks from being a financial adviser when she first joined in March 2004. She is a driven and results-orientated sales leader who has a proven record of accomplishment in all the roles she has held within the organisation. She has an MBA from Henley Business School. In April 2021 she was appointed as the Provincial General Manager: Sales and Distribution for Gauteng. How has your business been affected by the Covid-19 pandemic and what have you noticed about the businesses that you serve? We have been affected immensely as we could not make our targets, but also our staff’s earning potential was affected because they could not get to enough customers in order to make their targets. Two things are noticeable about businesses in the area: many businesses could not cope with the strain imposed by the various lockdowns and had either to close shop or retrench employees. Some businesses lost employees who died from Covid-19. All of this ultimately means the market potential has decreased significantly. It remains a problem, as most companies are not willing to hire and replace the staff they lost to Covid-19. What are your main offerings to customers? We are in the long-term insurance space so we offer life cover, funeral plans, investments and retirement annuities. What processes are followed in supporting CSI projects? We encourage our advisers to adopt community projects and submit an application for which we can provide finance of up to R20 000. They must also submit proof that they take the time to be there physically to assist with whatever project they are driving. We are engaged in a large number of projects across the province. ■ GAUTENG BUSINESS 2022 14

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