Page 1

November 2019














Contents 03—04



Cover story Playing our part in delivering on our promises



Risto gives us a view of what it took to deliver on our promises for year one of the Reset & Grow strategy.


Alexander Forbes Short-term Insurance acquisition accelerates the Group’s plans for long-term growth


Find out what makes this transaction a growth milestone and get a sneak peek of some of the work that went into it.




Guardrisk’s Carsure chatbot breaks new ground

Momentum Short-term Insurance introduces safety alert for clients’ peace of mind.

13 15



19 19-22


Africa rising


The story of an African business in transformation

Profile Acting CEO for the Africa segment: Kuda Mudzengi (Africa CFO)

PEOPLE 26-28

When rising above the rest takes you to the sky: 2019 Aquilo and Overseas Bonanza qualifiers


#BornWithMomentum. A legend of 50 years and still going strong! Reinhard Harms


Meet three of Metropolitan’s Overseas Bonanza qualifiers


Heather Noble Who gives us a peek into her career as a marketer


Hannes gives a diagnosis of the National Health Insurance (NHI) Bill


#NoApologyForMySuccess says the Womentum woman


Gardening to boost your health


October 2019 crowned the month of Learning


Technology Momentum Metropolitan thinks code


Beyond the transformation scorecard Human Resource Empowerment




41 46

Momentum Multiply Five habits to multiply your money


EDITORIAL Managing Editor: Tebatso Mokgoro Lead Editor:

Kgothatso Sematle Feature Writers: Etienne du Toit

Aobakwe Serole

Mmatseleng Moatshe Tracy Naidoo

Chitra Harduth

Melanie Govindasamy Contributors:

Momentum Multiply Luvo Chagi

Bradley Davids

Viljoen van Niekerk Andile Jonas

Kabelo Rammala


To feature in the next issue of CountUsIn, send an email to:

Pictures submitted must be in high-resolution (at least 5MB or bigger).




hat an eventful few months we

have had as a business! This is the first CountUsIn edition as Momentum Metropolitan, the Internal Marketing team have been hard at work trying to capture the refreshed energy and pace we are experiencing as an organisation. This edition recaps on our F2019 full year results, which demonstrated how our consistent performance was reflective of the resilience and discipline we carry as a business. The same disciplined approach carried us through the successful renaming of MMI to Momentum Metropolitan – because there is power in a name!

It’s not only our performance that is showing a marked improvement, we are actively engaging in the transformation agenda. In here you will see how we are enabling women to occupy the tech space through coding, while some are finding their voices and are now unapologetic about their successes. Our minds, talents and careers are also being transformed through the respective Skills and Leadership programmes being offered – we hope you are encouraged to engage your leaders on how you are tracking with your development. The Africa business is rising, we share some new innovations, while the Alexander Forbes acquisition gears us up for long-term growth… it is clear that stagnation has no place at Momentum Metropolitan. As we round up the year, we know that we have delivered on our promises to the markets. What promises will you be delivering to your family over the festive season? Well, we promised to give you DIY content in this magazine, see our gardening feature that will boost your overall health and quality time with the kids. Whether you are going away or indulging in a ‘staycation’, we hope you spend the time with those you love most, recharge and refuel. Our future looks promising… and if you keep excellence in mind, you and your team could walk away with R1 million in cash (after tax)! Ayeye 2020! PS: Don’t forget to share your feedback and story ideas, by emailing The CountUsIn Editorial Team





Group Finance Director review | Cover story


Our people have shown commitment to

the Reset and Grow strategy and delivered

despite challenging markets and the tough

economic climate.

RISTO KETOLA Group Finance Director

Momentum Metropolitan




Group Finance Director review | continued


hen we announced the

Group’s financial results for the year ending 30 June 2019, we were able to report an impressive overall performance despite the current low economic growth in South Africa, says Group Finance Director Risto Ketola. The Group delivered earnings of R3.1 billion which represents an increase of 53% compared to the previous financial year. Granted, the significant increase builds on a weak result from the previous financial year, which was impacted by negative operating basis changes and investment variances at the time. However, if these changes and variances are excluded from both years to give a more accurate illustration of earnings growth, the improvement in earnings was 21%, which is impressive in this current economic climate. This solid set of results wouldn’t have been possible without the disciplined and focused execution of our objectives for the first year of the Reset and Grow strategy. Our employees across the Group are central to us delivering on the promises we made when we announced our threeyear turnaround strategy last year. Our performance reflects resilience and discipline

Our ability to grow our earnings mainly came as the

result of resilient operational performance in most of our businesses, supported by good underwriting across the Group and disciplined expense management. In terms of underwriting, our cover business did well – our death claims were low which translated into good profits and we had a good year in our non-life insurance portfolio, with improved underwriting in both Guardrisk and Momentum

Short-term Insurance (MSTI). This was a welcome Reset highlight as it’s a demonstration of our competence in the

areas of claims management, risk pricing and medical underwriting which makes up our core business. In addition we worked smarter with our money and achieved more on that front than we expected: our market presence is better than previously and our service has improved significantly compared to the last few years. Momentum Corporate was a standout performer in

terms of sales, and was a definite Growth highlight. This was a significant overall achievement, and there is no doubt that


the business has gained market share and continues to emerge as a strong competitor in the corporate market. Sales across the group grew by 12%, which is a good number in the current economic climate, while value of new business improved by 57% from the previous year. In 2017, the Group promised that we would be reviewing our presence in some African markets. We’ve made significant progress in this regard. The recovery in Momentum Metropolitan

Africa is attributable to improved earnings in Namibia and Lesotho in the second half of the year.

To achieve our growth targets in the long term, driving sales higher is critical. There is still some way to go in our retail distribution. We need to strengthen Metropolitan’s sales force

to compete against traditional competitors like Old Mutual and Sanlam, and the new players in that market, like Capitec. We still

also require concerted effort around Momentum’s agent footprint and growing our base of productive brokers.


Group Finance Director review | continued

Group Financial Director review | continued

Looking ahead

It is pleasing to see the Group making steady progress towards our

earnings target of between R3.6 billion and R4 billion by 2021. The reality is that the economy is slower than what it was back when we made these promises, but if we remain committed and energised, we will have a great story to tell in the coming years. When taking into account the response received following the announcement of these results, there is clearly a growing confidence in the markets. The investor focus seems to be shifting from short-term to mediumterm which is a good sign because it shows that analysts and investors do think that at least in the short-term, we are doing the right things and therefore the market’s focus is moving from short-term operational questions

When we announced the Group’s financial results for the year ending 30 June 2019, we were able to report an impressive overall performance despite the current low economic growth in South Africa, says Risto Ketola. Group Finance Director

to medium-term strategic questions Momentum Metropolitan has quite a unique culture compared to

many financial services companies. It’s a place where ordinary people can

do extraordinary things. We are an organisation that is genuinely open to challenge our current way of work and strive for continuous improvement. It is a characteristic that I believe greatly contributed to us delivering on our promises for year one. We have a solid strategy and if we maintain the current level of commitment, we are definitely on course for the big win.




Alexander Forbes Short-term Insurance acquisition accelerates the Group’s plans for long-term growth



Alexander Forbes Short-term Insurance acquisition accelerates the Group’s plans for long-term growth | continued


nother growth milestone for the Group

To find out just how much work went into making

recently came in the form of the strategic acquisition of

sure that Momentum Metropolitan is selected as

Alexander Forbes Short-term Insurance business (AFI)

the suitable bidder, CountUsIn had a conversation

from Alexander Forbes Limited. This marks a significant

with Wynand Viljoen, Head of Actuarial Function for

investment into the growth strategy for the Group’s

Momentum Short-term Insurance, Thato Moloele (M&A

short-term insurance business. Coupled with the recent

Principal in the Corporate Finance team) and Gerhard

year-end results, the acquisition affirms that the growth

Kruger, Group Head of Corporate Finance.

part of the turnaround strategy is in fast motion as far as this segment goes.

The internal process was rigorous with multiple rounds of Board meetings to discuss and agree on the

The AFI auction process was hotly contested and

strategic rationale and price to be offered. The business

saw Momentum Metropolitan bidding alongside 19 other

case was interrogated from all angles. I can attest to

bidders, including other major financial services companies

the rigor with which the acquisition team investigated,

including Sanlam, King Price, Telesure and a number of

and board members interrogated, multiple dimensions

international companies. This was to be expected and Herman Schoeman’s view on the transaction sums it up, “In a lower growth market, size and scale is imperative for sustainable profitability. An acquisition of this nature and quality rarely occurs in the South African shortterm insurance market and we are excited by the opportunities it presents”. Momentum Short-term Insurance (MSTI) and AFI will be integrated through a phased approach and trade under the Momentum brand. The transaction will more than double Momentum

Metropolitan’s short-term business’s

Wynand Viljoen

Four months filled with lack of sleep, reviewing due diligence documents, asking questions, interviewing AFI management, writing reports, providing insight and comfort to the Board, answering questions and preparing scenarios for those who thought we are being too aggressive and those who thought we were being too conservative (yes, there were both) and working with a great team eventually resulted in a successful bid. It was all worth it! The acquisition of AFI takes our short-term insurance business to the next level, increasing our market share from 0,5% to 1,5%. This makes us an at-scale short-term insurance business in the South African market. The alignment of products and services, together with culture fit, meant that the strategic rationale for acquiring AFI was easy to justify.

client base to approximately 150 000

policyholders who now have access to a comprehensive, differentiated and diversified product and service offering. Having been selected affirms that Momentum

Metropolitan’s client-centric approach to business is

recognised by its peers in the industry. CEO of Alexander Forbes, Dawie de Villiers said this about their decision: “A priority in selecting Momentum Metropolitan, was to ensure our clients would continue to experience the superior benefits and service excellence as they have at Alexander Forbes. We have selected a company that understands the value proposition provided to our clients

of the transaction. An integration planning committee is planning how the integration will be carried out. The acquisition itself is only the first step in the journey. The success of the acquisition (any acquisition) depends on how the business is managed after it has been acquired. While all regulatory approvals are not yet concluded, Momentum Metropolitan is only allowed to plan for

the integration stage. Once the acquisition has been fully approved by the relevant regulators, the integration process will commence.

and will continue to invest in enhancing it.”




Alexander Forbes Short-term Insurance acquisition accelerates the Group’s plans for long-term growth | continued

Given the size of the transaction, MM’s internal governance process was quite rigorous. The

Thato Moloele:

The AFI acquisition process officially kicked off in early April 2019 when we were invited to participate in the AFI auction by the Alexander Forbes Group. The Momentum Metropolitan Corporate Finance team immediately set out to put the wheels in motion by appointing transaction advisors, assembling an internal transaction team and preparing a transaction project plan to ensure that Momentum Metropolitan (MM) would be adequately resourced and co-ordinated to take on a project of this magnitude within the tight timeframes which were prescribed by the sellers.

transaction team had to perform multiple analyses to quantify the synergies and the potential downside risk. In the end MM’s executive and non-executive decision-making forums were supportive of the proposed transaction and this strengthened the hands of the transaction team who were able to act with conviction. The auction process was very competitive and

The transaction team deserves credit for labouring diligently over the four months that followed and ensuring that MM remained one step ahead of the competing bidders throughout the preliminary bidding, due diligence, valuation, negotiation, internal approval and legal contracting processes which eventually resulted in our success.

MM was pitted against some formidable opponents. The fact that MM was successful is a feather in our cap and proof that MM is a winning team if we put our minds to it. In the end MM was successful because its offer was competitive with few strings attached and also because of the cultural affinity that the AFI team felt towards MM’s people and their

Gerhard Kruger:

MM had previously looked at and expressed an interest in AFI so when AF put the asset up for sale, we were ready to mobilise a transaction team and formulate a business case. MSTI evaluated similar assets recently and the team are therefore used to MM’s Mergers & Aquisitions process. There was quite a lot of interest in the asset so many of the professional advisors were acting for competing bidders. In the end MM was fortunate to engage Investec as financial advisors and this relationship worked well. Investec afterwards complimented MM for its informal, can-do and effective culture.

way of doing business. After all the regulatory approvals have been obtained, MM’s STI business units will assume the responsibility to integrate the new asset. I am sure that Herman Schoeman and the STI team will make a success of this integration and in the process create significant value for MM’s shareholders.

A snapshot of Alexander Forbes Short-term insurance:


84 000



Gross written premium F2019


Well diversified Loss ratio below 64% in F2018 and F2019



Compound annual growth rate (CAGR) in trading profit F2015-F2019


In-force policies


Personal lines



Loyal client base Less than 20% annualised lapse rate



Strong tied distribution 70% of new business from tied agents


Staff members 300 sales and service 200 support staff personal lines


Alexander Forbes Short-term Insurance acquisition accelerates the Group’s plans for long-term growth | continued

How will the acquisition of AFI benefit Momentum Metropolitan?

Apart from doubling the short-term business’s client base, the transaction significantly enhances MSTI’s distribution capacity, accelerates and broadens the sustainable growth plans for Momentum Metropolitan’s short-term insurance market segment

AFI employs a highly effective, customer-centric service model which will complement MSTI’s current operating model and provide the combined business with a strong differentiated competitive advantage in the short-term insurance market. How does this acquisition impact employees and clients?

The integration of the two businesses will be undertaken

in a phased approach, and the interests of existing clients and employees of both MSTI and AFI will be carefully looked after. Will there be any overlap in the roles between Momentum Short-term Insurance and AFI, and how will the agreement affect people’s day-to-day work?

We do not anticipate a material level of overlap between the

two businesses. Part of the appeal of AFI is that it represents an attractive bolt-on acquisition which can be integrated with the

Here are some answers to questions you may have about the transaction.

existing MSTI operations and position the consolidated business well for future growth. MSTI has already established an internal team to give effect to the smooth migration and integration of AFI into the MSTI environment. We do not anticipate that there will be any immediate impact on the day to day duties of MSTI staff outside of this group. We trust that the staff of AFI, MSTI and Momentum Metropolitan share our excitement and enthusiasm for the future prospects of

the combined business and will play an integral role in executing its growth strategy. Does this mean that Momentum intermediaries can now sell AFI products?

No, MSTI and AFI products will be joined and sold under the

Momentum brand using one licence. How is the implementation of the transaction progressing? We can comfortably say that we are on track in terms of

implementing the transaction and that we are well prepared for




LEFT: Dewald Müller, Customer Success Manager at Root MIDDLE: Thapelo Mapotse, CarSure Claims and Admin Agent RIGHT: Timothy Pillay, CarSure Product Manager

Guardrisk’s CarSure chatbot breaks new ground

23 August was a significant day for Guardrisk as CarSure, the company’s car hire insurance product, sold its first policy through a WhatsApp chatbot.


“The extraordinary speed with which our new WhatsApp bot, using the Root insurance APIs, went from concept to launch was impressive. Now we can focus on marketing and driving

sing Root’s insurance APIs, CarSure launched what

more sales through this exciting new channel,” says Richard

is said to be South Africa’s first insurance product sold through

Eales, Non-Life Managing Executive at Guardrisk. Using

an automated WhatsApp chatbot. This offering provides excess

WhatsApp as a new channel to sell insurance policies was an

buy down cover to protect clients against high excess payments

idea pitched during a client check-in meeting between Root, a

for car rental. This non-life insurance WhatsApp chatbot took just

Fintech start-up, and CarSure early this month. Loving the idea,

two weeks from concept to launch and is set to enhance the client

the teams immediately set off to work. They worked around

journey. The chatbot cuts out the need for long phone calls or time

the desired chatbot’s conversation flow and once finalised, a

spent on the internet. With WhatsApp as the platform, obtaining

software developer assisted with bringing this new insurance

insurance cover has never been easier.

chatbot to life.



Guardrisk’s CarSure chatbot | continued NETWORK


10:40 AM







HOW IT WORKS 01 Screenshot one

02 Screenshot two

In order to make use of this offering, a client

Once saved, they can then initiate a conversation

needs to save the chatbot contact number, as

to get the assistance they need on WhatsApp.

they would any other contact number, to

The WhatsApp Chatbot contact number is

communicate on WhatsApp.


+27 87 250 2397. Herman Schoeman, CEO for

Guardrisk, says, “This is a remarkable achievement by our employees – well done for flying the ‘innovation’ flag”.



Keeping clients safe on their journey to success. Momentum Short-term Insurance introduces safety alert for clients’ peace of mind. Words by: Etienne du Toit. Momentum Short-term Insurance. Chief Commercial



Momentum safety alert app | continued

Activating the Safety Alert is easy.

Momentum App Safety Alert button

1 500

armed responders waiting for your call. Safety Alert has a network of more than 1 500 armed responders registered in South Africa for immediate assistance at the touch of a button.

Download 1. 2.


Download the Momentum App from Apple App store or Google Play store. Confirm your personal details such as your name and telephone number to complete your set-up.


omentum Short-term Insurance (MSTI) has boosted

their safety offerings for clients with the introduction of Safety Alert on 9 September 2019, an innovative emergency panic button linked to armed response, which is available on the Momentum App. MSTI Chief Commercial Officer, Etienne du Toit, says Safety Alert is yet another safety offering aimed at providing our clients with peace of mind. “Our safety journey started when we introduced Safety Score™ in 2015 and was enhanced with the launch of Safe Dayz™ in 2017.” “These offerings, and others such as Home Drive, Momentum Assist and now Safety Alert, encompass personal, road and home safety with the main aim of helping our clients avoidrisk(s) or minimise the impact if a risk event occurs,” he adds. Safety Alert is free of charge to all Momentum Car and Home Insurance policyholders for a limited time until August 2020. Safety Alert can be initiated when clients’ feel their personal safety and those around them is being threatened.



Momentum safety alert app | continued

The App is linked to more than 1 500 armed responders

“Monthly security fees can be prohibitive for many South

throughout South Africa. Du Toit says activating Safety Alert via

Africans, who are trying to stay financially afloat in particularly

the Momentum App on your smart phone allows for the immediate

trying economic times. Safety Alert is a game-changer, offering

pinpointing of a location and the dispatch of an armed response unit.

peace of mind for MSTI clients at no additional cost for this limited

“This cuts out much of the delays that are typically encountered

period offer.”

when having to call someone, “We really hope our clients don’t

explain the situation and give

have to use Safety Alert, but the

address details.”

peace of mind that if it does, there is someone they can rely on

reality is, things do happen and Users must ensure their

we want to give our clients peace of mind that if it does, there is

location setting is active

someone they can rely on and

when initiating Safety Alert

that Momentum is playing a role

on their smar t phones.

in helping keep them safe on their

Once the Safety Alert button

journey to success”, he concludes.

“We really hope our clients don’t have to use Safety Alert, but the reality is, things do happen and we want to give our clients and that Momentum is playing a role in helping keep them safe on their journey to success” he concludes.

has been activated, the nearest armed response





d i s p a tc h e d


to they

support are




Du Toit says Safety Alert provides access to a security service available to a much wider audience of South Africans.



10:40 AM

Safety Alert

Details SMS

Mon, May 5, 10:20 AM


Safety Alert: A new responder has been assigned to you. Security company: [Name of security company]. Vehicle details: [make & model, colour, registration number].


iMessage I













X C V B N M space



Momentum safety alert app | continued

HOW IT WORKS Access Safety Alert at the touch of a button The Safety Alert feature is available to clients through the Momentum App. To initiate Safety Alert, clients will simply press the button for 2 seconds and an agent from the control centre will be alerted of the request and send help their way.







Straight after our interim results release earlier this year, the Momentum Metropolitan Africa Exco team embarked on a roadshow to its core countries of operation. This was the first time under the leadership of Dumo Mbethe, former CEO for Momentum Metropolitan Africa, that the countries hosted the Africa Exco members for such an occasion. The roadshow was set to align all to the greater Momentum Metropolitan Africa strategy, share an update on the segment’s performance and engage on the segment’s contribution to the Group, as well as articulating the expectations of each country in the achievement of their longer term goals.






Momentum Metropolitan has a 51 year heritage in Africa outside South Africa (Namibia and Lesotho); we are by no means a Johnny-come-lately! Africa as a market, even in this tough economic climate, presents opportunities that are ours for the taking. Ours is to believe and commit to doing good business – if we do right by our 600k retail clients and 838k corporate client members by offering compelling propositions and providing quality service levels; if we are visible through brand development efforts, continue being an invested corporate citizen and showing heart… the profits will follow. Kuda Mudzengi Acting CEO for the Africa segment

EXECUTIVE LEADERS FRONT ROW (from left to right): Yolanda Manganye (Human Capital Executive) Mamello Phomane (CEO: Lesotho) Dumo Mbethe (Former Segment CEO) Siyasanga Kashe (Segment COO) Tawiah Ben-Ahmed (CEO: Ghana) BACK ROW (from left to right): Livingstone Magorimbo (CEO: Nigeria) Luvo Chagi (Strategist and EA) Erich Gariseb (Head of Product) Grant Pote (CEO: Kenya) Frikkie Augustyn (CEO: Botswana) Kuda Mudzengi (Acting Segment CEO: Segment CFO) Grant Marais (CEO: Namibia)



Africa rising | continued


In 2017, Momentum Metropolitan

announced an exit strategy that would see it focusing on fewer African countries outside of South Africa, in order for the Group’s capital investment, and management capacity to be focused on effectively delivering shareholder value. There was also a need for the Africa segment to clarify its strategic direction and articulate it internally and for all key stakeholders. This culminated into the 3R’s strategy which aimed to Rationalise

(seamlessly exit selected countries); Reform (focus on in country governance and control, tightening

the operating model and solidifying leadership teams) and Reload (strengthening distribution and

enhancing the product mix while focusing on increasing margins).


In the last financial year, the segment invested in improving operational and technical efficiencies. This however, would not have been possible without the support of some of the critical stakeholders that the segment was able to successfully collaborate with. Through projects Karabo and Letsema, the segment was able to upgrade Lesotho and Botswana’s technology platforms for the Health businesses in collaboration with the Health Centre of Excellence. For the Ghana business, the launch of the Metropolitan Family Eternity Plus product in collaboration with Legacy Product House, promises to be critical to the business future success. This was preceded by the launch of Momentum Wealth and

Unit Trusts in Namibia at the end of October 2018 and the rollout of OBI in Nambia, Lesotho and Botswana where

Momentum Metropolitan Africa collaborated with Momentum Investments. Success is a series of small wins. Some of the notable traction that the segment made in the 2019 financial year can be seen through:

Strong single premium sales in Lesotho

Significant corporate sales in Namibia

Industry recognition for the Ghana businesses

Improving profitability in Kenya

A key part of turning a business around, lies in the leadership and the vision they carry. We sat with the recently appointed Acting CEO for the Africa segment: Kuda Mudzengi (Africa CFO), who forms part of the inspired, commited and passionate Africa Exco team. Africa has a strong leadership team rolling up their sleeves, and doing the hard work. They acknowledge the reality of negative economic growth figures and volatile markets but mention that a refreshed focus on customer experience and a dedicated team, means they are well positioned to grow Momentum Metropolitan’s presence in market.




Acting CEO for the Africa segment: Kuda Mudzengi (Africa CFO) Words by: Kuda Mudzengi. Acting CEO for the Africa segment



Africa rising | continued

There is power in a name. What does your name mean,

despite the fact that funeral ceremonies can last a period of up

and who gave you this special name?

to two months. The continent is growing, there’s a lot of fixing

Kudakwashe, a name given to me by my parents (Kuda in

and maturing of processes happening. East and West Africa

short), means the love of God or the will of God in Shona. The

are enjoying a +5% growth in GDP rates, ours is to seize the

Zulu equivalent is Thandolwenkosi.

opportunities by getting into the trenches, rolling up our sleeves, and doing the work while maintaining an aerial view of the market.

What one item can you not go a day without?

A prayer. I always need God’s will and guidance to get me

through the day. Tell us a little bit about your career, where did you cut your teeth and what are your personal career highlights?

In what way would you say Momentum Metropolitan

Africa’s 3R’s strategy is aligned to the Group’s Reset and Grow?

The 3R’s strategy is a perfect fit into the Group’s strategy.

The Reset part of the Group strategy is in alignment with the Rationalise and Reform part of our strategy.

I am a chartered accountant and trained with Ernst

and Young in Zimbabwe. I spent six years with Old Mutual

To Rationalise, we needed to step back and assess our

Zimbabwe where I ascended to Group Finance Manager (FM)

wounds and where we were bleeding. We went from making

in the business. That was during the hyper-inflation period,

losses in excess of R10m in 2016; to R64m in 2017 which

where I spent time designing a set of accounts in Excel to cater

led to the exit plan out of our loss-making businesses, forget

for all the zeros. I worked with “alternative currencies”, due

about aggressive footprint goals and focus on efficiency and

to the economic crisis where inflation was in excess of ZWD


1 billion and trading was in the form of food items and fuel coupons as currency. That wasn’t enjoyable.

To Reform, the remaining businesses are refreshing some

product offerings, sorting out systems issues and streamlining The enjoyable part was setting up the finance function in

our systems and operations while reviewing our cost bases

shared services and looking after the life, short-term and asset

against earnings. That in turn creates a solid foundation

management Portfolios. Also working through the currency

enabling us to take the segment forward.

conversion process to the US dollar (dollarisation process) and being part of a team that had to rebuild itself in a more

Grow aligns with the Reload part of our strategy. The

stable environment remains memorable. I then joined Old

strategy is premised on organic growth and pockets of inorganic

Mutual Africa on secondment as FM for the region and was later

growth where any opportunities present a strong strategic fit

appointed permanently as the Head of Reporting. Integrating

to our organic offering. In Namibia for instance, we are number

finance functions of the acquired businesses in East Africa was

one in retail mass, we are a distant second in the corporate

invaluable exposure. Navigating the cultural sensitivities, politics

sector and distant third in the retail affluent. We’re now asking

and business challenges that came with being relatively smaller.

ourselves what can be done to stimulate organic growth in

Earning the trust and fostering goodwill with stakeholders

the corporate and retail affluent sectors whilst defending our

was time consuming all the while striving for excellent

retail mass position. We do still consider credible inorganic

execution of strategy and delivering against set timelines.

opportunities, and continue to be deliberate in reviewing their strategic fit and partners to collaborate with.

Working in the Africa segment is familiar territory for you. What is it about Africa that makes you tick?

What is your formula for success?

contribute to its evolution. This continent has a billion people

that is committed to seeing this segment grow. We receive

and a youth population of between 200 - 250 million. We are

immense support from the Group’s product houses and

seeing an increase in financial literacy levels, yet insurance

shared services. Most members of our team have experience

penetration remains below 2% which represents a huge

in working on the continent which is invaluable when faced with

Africa is a continent on the rise and it is humbling to

Total dedication and teamwork from a high performing team

opportunity. The cultural nuances in Africa require a nimble

the multiple and dynamic challenges that occur. The conditions

approach to doing business: Funeral as a product is huge

of working in this segment come at a personal sacrifice (time

in South Africa, while in East Africa, communities take care

and family). Not everything is going to be smooth sailing but

of funerals. And in West Africa talking about death is taboo,

the rewards are worth it.




WHEN RISING ABOVE THE REST TAKES YOU TO THE SKY In Momentum and Metropolitan’s distribution and sales channels are individuals who consistently exceeded all standards and targets – and ended up top of their respective categories for the 2019 financial year. We get to know a bit more about what drives them to achieve top status in their respective areas.



Meet three of Momentum’s 2019 Platinum Aquilo Qualifiers who, along with other qualifiers, jetted off to Fiji in September.

Thinus Marais Financial Planner Planner of the Year (third time winner)


Shivaan Hiralal Financial Planner Rising Star

Mauro Ghillino Franchise Planner New to Industry Champion



What did it take to achieve this award? Mauro: My aim was to try and finish in Platinum as I have qualified in this category in my

previous roles as Broker Consultant, Regional Manager MDS and Regional Manager MFP,

and wanted to do this as a planner too. I am fortunate to have worked with the best planners in the industry as their Regional Manager so seeing them in action over the years gave me

a fantastic platform.

It’s a bit strange to have 30 years experience but be called New to Industry Champion

but I suppose this was my first year selling as opposed to the other 30 years being in the

corporate. Ian Patchitt, in particular kept me on my toes every month by checking how my production was and how I was tracking for Platinum. The support I received from head

office staff in all areas was incredible. Rimesh Solari and his team of superstars, Alett Daniel,

Quaanitah Solari and her team, Troy Vosloo and Ethel Jones. So many people who deserve the credit so much more than I do.

Thinus Marais

Thinus: Being consistent in what I do and offering the best possible service and solutions

to my clients. I had to show up and be there for my clients even in difficult times and I had to

differentiate myself from others selling exactly the same product as I do by adding Multiply to cross-and upsell.

Shivaan: I came into the industry with the view that being new to the industry doesn’t

mean I should try to emulate other financial planners. So I try to set up my clients’ portfolios in a manner that will give them maximum benefits from their portfolios, even without claim

events occurring. I also aim to stay up to date with as many market events as possible in order to give my clients the most bespoke investment advice. Any words of advice to other Momentum Planners for the current (F2020) financial year? Thinus: Do not sell a product, sell your advice and the product will follow. Involve the client’s partner in your planning and

decision and embrace the positive and don’t focus on everything that goes wrong. Know the rules and just do what you do best

and the rest will follow. I have read an interview with the founder and CEO of the South African found sport nutrition company USN,

Albé Geldenhuys and he said something so accurate regarding successful people. He said:

“From the outside most successful businesses and people looks like they have been blessed

with good fortune, but in reality these successful people grew by facing and conquering the most challenging adversities… and that never ends. It is how we deal with adversity that makes all the difference, it’s how you turn negative events into your favour that sets us apart.” Mauro: My partner in the franchise, Nick Wolmarans and the senior planners here gave me

good advice and that was to understand that this is a numbers game – see as many people as possible, you are not working unless you are in front of a client and that I must not fall into the trap of taking my foot off the pedal after having a good month. To be honest I think I was

Shivaan Hiralal

lucky in that my network was there for me and I had incredible support at our office in terms

of advice around solutions for clients. If there are two pieces of magic I can share that we have all heard before:

1. Start with the will and know where to spot the opportunities 2. Make use of an effective data collection form as this will give

you the necessary info to complete an appropriate FNA.

Shivaan: Perhaps to the planners still focusing on racking up some experience, learn as much as you can from the experienced

guys in the industry but never try to “be them”. Adding your personal touch to something that works and making it your own value proposition will take you a long away and enable a faster route to achieving your goals.



2019 Aquilo and Overseas Bonanza qualifiers | continued

What was your highlight of the 2019 financial year? Mauro: It was a client I went to see regarding reviewing his will and discussing estate duty

which opened up a massive discussion around his estate planning. He co-owns 6 companies.

We ended up doing personal and business assurance which resulted in 16 Myriad policies being written and retirement to follow. Most satisfying was the thanks I received for protecting their families interests by providing for estate duty and structuring their wills and policies appropriately.

Shivaan: The relationships that I have built with my clients and my colleagues over the last two

years have been one of the highlights of my life thus far. My circle of friends and family has grown

and there are now many more people that I can depend on as well as share my joys and sorrows. Being recognised as the Rising Star of Momentum has to be one of my biggest achievements as well.

Thinus: In terms of work, it was knowing that I made a difference in my clients’ lives and I was

honoured to be Planner of the Year for the third time and to know that what I do is recognised by

Mauro Ghillino

others. From a personal point of view, it was the privilege to travel as an Aquilo Qualifer and see amazing places while getting enriched by getting to know people like the Fijians who are the most friendly and grateful people, although they have very little to live from.

How will you stay on top of your game for the rest of the 2020 financial year? Shivaan: Firstly maintaining the relationships that I have established with the clients that have

bought into my value proposition and ensure that I continuously exceed their expectations of my service delivery and bespoke financial advice. I am also extremely motivated to attain a higher position within the rankings in Momentum and qualify better than 11th in the Aquilo Platinum category. I think consistency, tenacity and a thirst for obtaining more knowledge are the keys to success within our industry. Thinus: I will be attending workshops and training to be on top

of my game. Also staying in the know about what is going on in my clients’ lives and making sure that my support team in my office is 100% knowledgeable, informed and up to date for them to be a true

extension of myself. Become part of the greater team of Momentum

which is a world class company with amazing colleagues. Remain

humble and grateful and know that nothing is just luck but only by the grace of God.

Mauro: 2020 will be a year that I focus on growing our franchise, so

while we will do our best to compete in the Aquilo, I would like to do so as a

franchise and not as an individual. Staying on top of one’s game means being able to embrace change and look for the opportunities therein.





M eet


M etropolitan’s O verseas B onanza qualifiers who joined


H ead

C hannel M etropolitan, Japie Mostert, of

along with other qualifiers on the Overseas Bonanza trip to Australia in October as reward for their phenomenal sales achievements.


What did it take to be top in your category?

I focused on this, and it helped set me apart from

other advisers.

Mbongeni: It takes effort and strategic marketing.

Isaac: It was simply a case of getting back to basics and

being consistent.

Jason: I’m always the first person at work, and sometimes

I’m alone in the office on a Saturday. Small sacrifices end

in big rewards. My motto never changes: ‘It’s all about the

client’. Your own needs are secondary.



Any words of advice to other financial

advisers for the current financial year (F2020)?

Mbongeni: They must show commitment and focus and

work hard to achieve their goals. Last but not least: they

must love their job and always respect their clients.

Isaac: The secret to getting ahead is getting started, so

start today by implementing your plans for F2020.

Jason: If it’s easy, it’s not worth it. If it’s worth it, it won’t

be easy.


Metropolitan’s Overseas Bonanza qualifiers | continued

Mbongeni Ntombela Financial Adviser Qualified for his 12th Overseas Bonanza


Isaac Moletsane Top Broker for F2019 Qualified for his third Overseas Bonanza

What was your highlight for the 2019 financial year?

Mbongeni: I achieved my goals despite our economic

challenges, and also I managed to open a new source

of business.

Isaac: The highlight was our Broker Channel’s ability to

generate a R250 million actual single premium business.

Jason: It was when I heard that I had qualified for the

Overseas Bonanza to the USA and Canada.



Jason Jacobs Top Tele-agent for F2019 Qualified for his fourth Overseas Bonanza

How will you stay on top of your game for the rest of the 2020 financial year?

Mbongeni: I will, at all times, focus on improving the way

I do business. I also aim to beat my F2019 sales record.

Isaac: Our focus will remain on enhancing our Broker

Service Value Proposition to all contracted financial

service providers.

Jason: I will continue to strengthen my relationships with

existing clients. With the challenging economic climate,

clients are not in the financial position to sign up for new

products. I will discuss adding our Value Protection Benefit

with them, as it doesn’t affect clients’ pockets drastically.



Reinhard Harms


A legend of 50 years and still going strong! Reinhard Harms witnessed the birth of Momentum. Not only was he Momentum’s first IT specialist, but he also dedicated fifty years of his life to the financial services industry as a whole.



e started his career at

Momentum (AVBOB, the mother company at that time) on 30 April 1969. He was the department head for Policy Services (Polisdienste), where his monthly salary was R69.50 and his contribution to SARS at the time was only R19.50. The Life Company changed its name to AVL (Afrikaanse Verbond Lewensversekering) and started a merger – the first of many changes in the history of the company that would later be known as Momentum. Reinhard remembers how, shortly after the merger with Monument, the then CEO of AVBOB, Adv. Du Plessis said at a Christmas party: “You guys are so dynamic, why don’t you change your name to Momentum?” From punch cards to systems with three screens: Our IT moving with the times. In 1973 the general manager decided that, as a result of technological advances, the company would buy a punch card system. Reinhard was the only person with mathematics and was asked to take care of IT for Momentum.

At that time, IT meant everything from systems analysis

to specification writing, programming and testing.


Reinhard remembers how, shortly after the merger with Monument, the then CEO of AVBOB, Adv. Du Plessis said at a Christmas party:

You guys are so dynamic, why don’t you change your name to Momentum?






#BornWithMomentum | continued

Momentum was the proud owner of a system

with three screens: one for programming, another for operations and the last for capturing new business. After spending a few years in IT, Reinhard decided to try his hand at different things, including administration and sales management. It’s not about what you do, but how you do it

After the Lifegro merger in 1990, Danie Botes, the

then Chief Operations Officer, convinced Reinhard to get involved in the MC-square initiative, where he worked for seven years. He spent many years in system development and contributed greatly to the PDS systems. He was the ‘go-to’ guy for queries on many of the processes. His colleagues remember that despite his dislike for meetings and documentation, he always made sure that he was successful in getting the job done. The man behind the 50 years

Reinhard is known for his strong principles. He is

described as a father figure who takes people under his wing. He wants them to develop, achieve and make a success of their careers. He is also a nature lover and enjoys the outdoors – especially game parks. He is passionate about looking after the environment. To save electricity he always asked everyone to switch off their PCs when they left the office. Since he was always the first person to arrive in the mornings, he would switch all the PCs on again, just before everyone else arrived. Success is defined as a life well lived

Reinhard doesn’t have any immediate plans for his

retirement. He still believes that he has something that he can give back to society. He embodies the philosophy that life is a journey to be enjoyed to its fullest, with integrity and empathy. Life is not a journey to the grave. Nor is it about the intention of arriving safely, in a pretty and well-presented body. Rather, you should skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, loudly proclaiming “Wow, what a ride!”




I’m inquisitive by nature, and fascinated by people and human behaviour.



Tell us a little bit about your career journey, prior to joining Momentum Metropolitan.


always chuckle when I’m asked this question. I’m actually

a chemist by early training, but spent most of my professional life in sales and marketing across the pharmaceutical, liquor and medical industries, then venturing into tech at Hello Doctor as Marketing Director. Finally, I joined Momentum Metropolitan four years ago,

as Head of Brand Strategy, and now Head of Marketing for the corporate entity. Having spearheaded numerous marketing campaigns in

your career, what has kept your passion alive throughout the years?

I’m inquisitive by nature, and fascinated by people and human

behaviour. Humans are such complex and interesting creatures and all so different from each other. Even the most simple of us are unique and that provides different insights and understanding

Spotlight on Heather Noble

who gives us a peek into her career as a marketer and how that came into play in birthing the Momentum Metropolitan brand, a move that demonstrated the power that lies in a name. of our world. Our connections with others is the fabric of society, a blanket for life. I believe that if our marketing routes and decisions are rooted in the understanding of who we are trying to connect with, it sets us up for success, time and time again. It’s never about us, but always about the client. One such campaign is the roll-out of the Momentum

Metropolitan entity, that took us through the rich history

of the brand. What are some of your special memories of your time in this business?

Working at a start-up (Hello Doctor). The combination of tech

and medical services was exhilarating. I loved the fluidity and fast pace, doing whatever the business required of me and not just what



Heather Noble | continued

People my title said – it gave me the opportunity to learn and be part of

At its core, our industry relies on customer satisfaction.

a variety of projects (like putting tenders together, and partnering with network service providers across Africa). It was truly special

And of course, being part of Project LEGO and making sense

to be part of a team focused on bringing primary health care to

of our brand architecture, the role of Momentum Metropolitan

thousands of people in South Africa and other countries.

as the corporate entity, and witnessing the learnings and insights

come to life in the way we’re currently marketing our brands. It’s Second to that would be the wonderful feeling I had when

been a fascinating and rewarding journey.

managing a very unhappy client at Centurion reception, to a state

For the last 11 years, we’ve been missing out on having intrinsic value built into our name.

of happiness. Watching the adviser at work was heart-warming.

Surely, changing the name of the Group wasn’t an easy

decision to make, can you briefly take us through the journey

of finally choosing the name and getting it approved?

At the time of the merger, the intent was that MMI would only

be an investor brand and not a client facing brand. However, over time it became that, unintentionally and sometimes by design. For the last 11 years, we’ve been missing out on having intrinsic value built into our name. In interrogating some of the LEGO outcomes for the corporate entity, the idea of writing out our name as Momentum Metropolitan Holdings, began in a

small meeting room in Centurion. After doing some homework and thinking, it was taken to Group Exco for the first time in April 2018. Some interesting stats:

• •

98 logo options for Momentum Metropolitan

294 internal colleagues involved - 100 working days, 88 200 hours, if 30% of time spent on PEPSI




Te a m s



i n v o l v e d;


15 Registered Entities across our territories •

More than 126 meetings

At least 5 Exco presentations and 2 Board resolutions

Around 7 000 new access cards in two weeks, plus 600 doughnuts and 1 500 Pepsi’s! They agreed to hero our two big retail brands in our name. The

entire journey took us 17 months from ideation to implementation. Kudos to our Snr Project Manager, Heideli Jansen van Vuuren, who kept us all marching to the right drumbeat. This was a real team effort across the organisation, and much credit goes to my entire team for the hard work, blood, sweat and tears, they put in; the support from the Group Exco, Hillie, Jeanette, Risto and Nontokozo; as well as our group Secretariat, I&O, the digital team, and all the BUs for their spirit, commitment and can-do attitude.



Heather Noble | continued

How would you say the new name complements our Reset

& Grow strategy?

A critical component of this strategy is the revitalisation of the

Momentum and Metropolitan brands. As the listed entity, the

holding company receives a fair bit of exposure. Changing the

name to Momentum Metropolitan, will increase the exposure for the group’s two main consumer brands, Momentum and Metropolitan.

To quote Hillie, “Market insights demonstrated that, even more than eight years after the merger of the two companies, internal and

external stakeholders did not organically and automatically connect MMI to its two strong and well-recognised retail brands. Clearly placing the two operational brands front and centre, gives investors and other stakeholders a better understanding of what the listed entity represents, while also demonstrating the strength of a combined collection of strong companies and competencies”. How has the market responded to Momentum Metropolitan thus far?

Our new name was revealed on 23 July 2019, so it’s early

days. The first significant demonstration of our new name was at our full-year results presentation in September. It was glorious to see it brought to life, and the clarity of who we are, shone brightly. What’s next for the Momentum Metropolitan brand?

Changing the name of a business is momentous. We have to

give it due time to land with all our internal and external stakeholders, to extract the value we anticipate from it. As the corporate entity, we don’t invest in advertising, so our focus will be to ensure that we hero the two retail brands, Momentum and Metropolitan

in everything we do, from internal engagement, to CSI, to PR,

Changing the name to Momentum Metropolitan, will increase the exposure for the Group’s two main consumer brands, Momentum and Metropolitan

and of course on our digital channels and platforms. In line with the outcomes and insights from Project LEGO, our three focus areas remain: 1. To be more meaningful, which is achieved by bringing our manifesto to life; 2. To focus our investment on giving our retail brands centre stage with our left-right-right punch; 3. To get simple, with our new name and distinctive visual identity.




Hannes gives a diagnosis of the National Health Insurance (NHI) Bill The NHI Bill has been in the news lately, and most people in the Group have been wondering about what this means for us. Hannes Viljoen, CEO of Momentum Health Solutions, gives an update on the business’s involvement with NHI and what you can look forward to – and yes, there is a lot to look forward to! Hannes starts with the question on everyone’s lips: Does this mean Momentum Health Solutions needs to find

Words by: Hannes Viljoen. CEO Momentum Health Solutions

a new job?

No. You’ll be missing out on something really big!

Implementing something like the NHI is going to take time.

Consider that the first mention of universal healthcare for South

Africans happened in 1967 and that accessible healthcare was

in the ANC’s 1994 election manifesto, and you can see how it

might still take a long time to get to an actual implementation.

This is a long process. The current plan is for NHI

implementation to only start in 2026 — and even then it will take

many years to roll it out. In fact, it took Germany 127 years to implement a working NHI solution. For South Africa, the first step

might be looking at the current public healthcare and getting that up to standard.

Doing things differently

We’re behind the universal healthcare system. That might

seem like a contradiction, especially considering that a part of the draft NHI Bill suggests that current medical aid schemes will

transform over time to be providers of complementary services

only. However, there are other parts of the Bill that quite clearly leave scope for private sector participation. Either way, we are looking into how we can do things differently.



Our first step was to change our name to Momentum

Health Solutions – because that’s what we do. We create health solutions, and we’re quite confident that we have the

personally offer our commitment and expertise in creating the best healthcare solutions for South Africans.

expertise on board to continue doing that. We believe there will

The bottom line: we need universal healthcare

then there will be a role for a different offering. We’ll be ready

system. South Africans deserve better access to better quality

still be a role for medical schemes. If it turns out that there isn’t, for that.

We need it. There is a lot of inequality in the healthcare

healthcare in our country and we want to play our part as a

big healthcare organisation in shaping that future. It is a very

We’re on it!

complex problem. But as South Africans we’ve dealt with

ago already. We took the time to research private healthcare

on getting more health to more people for less?

We started our investigation into NHI more than five years

all over the world, in the UK, Germany, Spain and Belgium. We

complex problems before – and aren’t we as a business focused

found that there were still many people who continued buying

Our values as our guiding light

in SA – there will be scope for private healthcare products. We

throughout this process. We believe that universal healthcare


better. We will not be swayed from working to do the right thing

private healthcare top-ups. The same will most likely happen are entirely committed to being a participant in those healthcare

We are also putting our energy where our commitment is, by

continuing to give input into the draft Bill and its implementation. In fact, we’re hoping to meet with the Minister of Health soon to


Rest assured that we will stand up for what we believe is right

has the potential to fundamentally change our country for the

for the people of South Africa – our purpose remains bringing

more health to more people for less. So stick around and be

part of this positive revolution.



RIGHT: Centurion head office throughout Women’s Month.






SAYS THE WOMENTUM WOMAN South African women carry a unique historical legacy, weaved into courage and a sense of triumph that has secured their rightful place in society. Born with immeasurable soul, women have reached heights and raised bars, and commanded territories in all areas imaginable. Over the years, women have paid it forward, understanding that to give is to live the true essence of empowerment.


t is no surprise that this Women’s Month, Momentum started a

bold conversation under #NoApologyForMySuccess. The campaign

encouraged women from all walks of life to recognise, honour and regard each other’s accomplishments in various spheres of business and society. The #NoApologyForMySuccess campaign invited people to join the conversation

via social media and revealed a myriad of bold women excelling in their respective fields. Momentum made South Africa talk. Women from diverse backgrounds joined the conversation, tweeting their own successes, joys and accomplishments, inspired by women who were bold enough to share their feats on a public platform.

This movement shook a dormant culture, which has, along the years, diminished women’s significant accomplishments. As the country celebrated Women’s Month, Momentum challenged mindsets on how women are revered across society, highlighting the place and power women occupy, yet often ignored. Momentum’s Head



Perspective Perspective of Marketing, Charlotte Nsubuga-Mukasa, says: “The #NoApologyForMySuccess

campaign inspired women to talk boldly about their achievements. Women are achieving

PICTURED HERE : gsport Woman of the Year, Saray Khumalo BELOW RIGHT: Ria Ledwaba at the gsport awards

BELOW LEFT: Anet Bosman at the gsport awards

incredible milestones and well beyond what society taught us was possible. And yet we still downplay these achievements. So many of us don’t embrace our success – instead, research shows that we tend to apologise for it.” As a true demonstration of flipping the conversation on its head, Momentum flipped their ‘m’ for Women’s Month and boldly displayed it on their social media accounts and main signage outside the Centurion head office. Taking a page from this inspired campaign, Momentum announced its partnership with the 2019 gsport Awards to celebrate the success of women in the South African sporting arena. Kass Naidoo from gsport said that this partnership was

I dedicate it to every African girl that dares to dream.” says Saray Khumalo

a natural fit. “The gsport Awards elevate women in sport and encourage them to own their success. When I found out about the #NoApologyForMySuccess campaign, I

knew it was a perfect partnership. For far too long, women have apologised for excelling.

This partnership between gsport and Momentum inspires women to stand in their light on a premier platform that recognises women in sport,” she says.



#NoApologyForMySuccess | continued

The 2019 Momentum gsport Awards ceremony took place on 31 August, and saw athletes and sports enthusiasts come together to celebrate female sporting personalities to shine and thrive in the spotlight. The legendary Caster Semenya, Gerda Steyn, Thembi Kgatlana, Saray Khumalo and Desiree Ellis, and teams such as Banyana Banyana and the Springbok Women’s Sevens are some of the greats that we honoured. Saray Khumalo, Head of E-commerce and Partner Rewards at Momentum Multiply, won the 2019 gsport Woman of the Year Award for becoming the First Black African woman to summit Everest in a fiercely contested awards category. On receiving the award, Saray said she dedicates it to “every African girl that dares to dream.” #NoApologyForMySuccess has changed perceptions and empowered women to boldly claim

their success. It is an important conversation that will live on past Women’s Month.



Quick access to money in your time of need matters.

That’s why we pay claims* fast. Find us at *Valid claims only

Leader in financial services:

45 Metropolitan is part of Momentum Metropolitan Life Limited, an authorised financial services (FSP 44673) and registered credit provider (NCRCP173)


DIY gardening tips

gardening to boost your health

Kids need to be kept entertained, especially during the school holidays. But there’s no need to break the bank to keep them busy. Get into summer gardening to save money and boost your overall health and wellness. To start, you don’t need a lot of space or “green fingers”. All you need is a small patch outside; and if you don’t have one, a pot in your kitchen will work just as well to grow some fresh and tasty plants. Our guide highlights some easy-to-plant vegetables and plants; the kind that are good for the environment and for your body. 46



DIY gardening tips| continued

and herbs


Did you know that radishes are


Get the kids involved by making

low in calories and can grow all year

this a fun activity while learning about

round? According to Gardening in

gardening. Getting their hands dirty

South Africa they are a low-calorie

with speckles of sand is the first step

summer vegetable because of their

in planting the seeds. These seeds

high water content, and helps keep

need to be planted in full sun and

your body hydrated.

can be sown directly into garden beds or window boxes and other

This small red and round

containers. They grow easily and

vegetable may not be very popular,

can be harvested within three to five

but remember they can be used to

weeks, depending on the season.

add a pop of colour and spruce up your summer salads. And you should be adding radishes to your diet as it is high in fibre, aids digestion and protects your liver and gall bladder.


Coriander, also known as “cilantro”

or ‘dhania”, is seen as one of the most versatile herbs because you can use all parts of the plant – roots, stems, leaves and seeds in your cooking. You would think that calcium was the only vitamin to help with healthy bone structure, but coriander helps too as it’s one of the richest herbal sources of vitamin K. It is also rich in manganese and iron making it a deterrent to anaemia.


Like radishes they also require full

sun exposure. It is best to sow seeds directly into your patch of soil where you want it to grow, making sure that you do not over water as they do not grow well in damp conditions. It is advisable to cover the seeds with 5cm of soil and thin the seedlings out to about a ruler length apart – germination should take about 7 to 10 days.



DIY gardening tips| continued



With major water restrictions across the country and some areas severely affected by drought, we have to make better plant choices that will need low water maintenance. The flowers recommended are good examples of this.

Wild Garlic

Tulbaghia also known as Wild Garlic because of its

Lily of the Nile

The Agapanthus, commonly known as the African

strong garlic scent when it’s bruised, has become very popular with gardeners around the country. It also takes time to flower like the Lily of the Nile, but the stunning

Lily or Lily of the Nile, is a really popular flower in South

display of its pinkish-mauve flowers is a sight. It is a fuss-

Africa with its beautiful blue or white petals. This flower

free and low maintenance plant that is used to sunny to

blossoms with little care from the gardener.

semi-shade positions.


These flowers take time to grow so be patient with

Planting Wild Garlic seeds are best sown in spring – then

these seeds. The African Lily needs a moderately fertile

seedlings can be planted out during their second year.

soil. Unlike the veggies, they need a warm, sheltered

These flowers should be left undisturbed as much as

position in full sun for most of the day. It is advisable to

possible as they generally begin to flower in the second

plant these 2.5cm deep and space 60cm (a double ruler

or third year. They grow in clumps so you can split these

length) apart. Germination may take up to eight weeks,

after a few years and replant in other areas of the garden.

but actual flowering could take up to four years. Your kids will understand the wonder of patience when they only see the fruits of their hard labour after years.

I hope you and your family get a chance to enjoy your gardens this summer season with these helpful tips. #GreenFingers #SummerGardening




October 2019 crowned the month of Learning

7 October

As an organisation that is savvy in investments, one thing we know for sure at Momentum Metropolitan, is that the value of learning always appreciates rather than depreciates. The Human Capital Leadership Development team, spent the month of October hosting several events for our respective leadership programmes. Here follows some highlights:

With names like SmartEdge, TransformUp, #’s, it was

2018/19 SMP Business Activation

no surprise that our colleagues who were on the Senior

Management Development Programme (SMP) presented

incredible business solutions and proposals on how to future-proof our business. The Group’s Executives

including Hillie, Risto and Ashlene also showed up, and

served as a judging panel. It is evident that the content

of the programme was stealthy, because the delegates

gave our Exco competitive and highly feasible models

and solutions. We think we spotted Dieter and Asokan (some of the judges) sweating — the deliberations were nail biting!

Congratulations to the Moniply team who walked

away as winners, for their proposal to turn the Multiply business profitable.



118 of the Group’s future leaders who were a part of either the Junior Management

Momentum Metropolitan Management Programmes 2018/19 graduations

Programme (JMP), the Momentum Metropolitan Programme (MMP) or the SMP in

2018/19 were treated to a ceremonial day themed “The Magic of Leadership”. Held at the Fire & Ice hotel in Menlyn (Pretoria), it was an inspirational day with Iman Rapetti

facilitating the day’s conversations with great wit and charm. This was the first

graduation stemming from the partnership with Duke and Rhodes Business Schools.

Group Exco was represented by Hillie, Ashlene and Nontokozo. Congratulations to our Top Achievers, for standing head and shoulders tall and showing that the true magic of leadership, supports eager and dedicated learning and enthusiasm.

JMP Top Achiever: Michele Labuschagne | MMP Top Achiever: Elrize Prins


SMP Top Achiever: Tharshan Moodley


Centurion office. In attendance to show support for the delegates was Group Exco, line managers, and members of the Duke and Rhodes Business Schools.

Delegates were officially welcomed by CEO of Momentum Corporate, Dumo,

who delivered a sharp opening address explaining how the programme aligns to the

Group’s Reset and Grow strategy. Our group of courageous leaders also had the

privilege to hear from recent SMP graduate, Thato Marobane, who shared her valuable

experience and insight into what

lies ahead when balancing work

and studies.

She said “Momentum

Metropolitan is sitting on a

goldmine. As an organisation

we are rich in our people. Our

people are passionate, intelligent

and committed to the growth of our organisation. We need

We wish our leaders the very best on this journey and we look forward to celebrate their graduation in September 2020. As an organisation that is tasked to achieve our target of generating profits between R3.6 – R4.0 billion by F2021, we are confident that the leaders that are emerging out of the leadership programmes, will be instrumental in guiding the way and living out our winning culture!

to leave a legacy that future

The JMP, MMP and SMP graduation ceremony at the Fire & Ice hotel in Menlyn (Pretoria)

2019/20 Senior Management Development Programme launch

22 October

The SMP class of 2019/20 kicked off with a remarkable launch event held at our

generations will admire, because we chose to invest in our future leaders.” In addition to growing their capabilities, delegates can also look forward to

being energised by the opportunity to explore the challenges facing Momentum

Metropolitan through their Business Activation Projects.




Momentum Metropolitan

thinks code

in new women-focused programme


The boom in the technology industry is creating jobs for tech professionals and enthusiasts. However, this has not brought much cheer for women techies with only 20 percent of the workforce in technology roles being occupied by women.

o address the under-representation of women in

“The programme is designed to inspire young women between

technology roles, Momentum Metropolitan Foundation has

the ages of 17 - 35 to join the WeThinkCode programme and

partnered with WeThinkCode and MWR InfoSecurity to launch a

support them to graduate and transition into a fulfilling and

programme that will teach women to code in WeThinkCode’s two

impactful career. Beyond this, our goal is to completely reshape

year, tuition free software development training programme.

the way our society sees the role of women in technology. We want to showcase women that are making waves in technology,

Established in 2016, WeThinkCode has been operating with the vision to empower the exceptional young people of South Africa to thrive as software engineers, irrespective of whether they have prior experience in software development before joining the programme. On 29 August, the programme founders, the media, students and Momentum Metropolitan gathered in Sandton, Johannesburg, for the official launch of the Women ThinkCode programme. It’s a threeyear programme that is aimed at achieving gender equality on WeThinkCode campuses by taking active steps to recruit more women, ensure retention of women over the two years they are enrolled in the WeThinkCode programme and successful absorption into the industry.

build a community of allies around young women technologists and achieve gender parity in our programme and, ultimately, in the industry,” said Nyari Samushonga, Managing Director of WeThinkCode.



Momentum Metropolitan’s Journey | continued

The initiative aims to reach more women through alternative recruitment platforms such as NPO networks, mobile assessment units for use in townships, and direct contact with young women. WeThinkCode will retain more women in the programme by setting up a mentorship network that will support them throughout the programme and, hopefully, carry on into their careers. The Momentum Metropolitan Foundation is a founding funder of this inclusion initiative and will sponsor 15 students in 2019 and 15 in 2020 to complete the two-year training. “This project speaks to our commitment to getting more young women into STEM jobs in the future. As a forward-looking organisation we realise that it is important to equip young women with the skills that will ensure that they are highly employable.

…our goal is to completely reshape the way our society sees the role of women in technology Managing Director WeThinkCode Nyari Samushonga

Former Momentum Metropolitan Chief Operations Officer Ashlene van der Colff

In a thought-provoking women-only panel discussion at the launch, emphasis was placed on the importance of education and training in making room for women in the workplace. Ashlene van der Colff, former Chief Operations Officer at Momentum Metropolitan said:

“being a woman doesn’t mean you get a free pass, you’ve got to be competent. We need to work harder, we need to run faster and jump higher.” “With the IT industry still being heavily male-

This means investing in programmes which

dominated, initiatives such as WomenThinkCode

train them for a world where technology will be the

speak to a core problem that I feel we are

biggest indicator of employability and ensuring

grappling with not only within our industry but

that the school girls of today are the leaders in

within society as a whole,” says Gabriel de Sousa, Consultancy Directory at MWR InfoSecurity. “This is an awesome opportunity for us as an industry to foster the technical growth of a significantly under-represented segment of our society within

…we need to work harder, we need to run faster and jump higher Managing Director. WeThinkCode. Nyari Samushonga

technology in the future,” says Charlene Lackay, Head of CSI at Momentum Metropolitan.

Around 300 students per year are trained

through the WeThinkCode programme, and the aim is to have 50% of the 2021 cohort comprised of young women. MWR InfoSecurity, who provide specialist advice in all areas of security, is also a founding funder of the initiative.


Former Momentum Metropolitan Chief Operations Officer Ashlene van der Colff

this challenging, unique and specialist area. From the success that we have already experienced with WeThinkCode, we are more than happy to partner with them for this initiative to ensure that we begin to tackle some of the more difficult challenges across our society.” Speaking about the partnership Samushonga says: “We are privileged to have partnered with organisations like Momentum Metropolitan

and MWR InfoSecurity, that will become the future

employers of these young women and who have a vested interest and commitment to seeing the industry become more reflective of South African society. We plan to change the perception of coding as a man’s profession. This is a significant task, which will require a sustained intervention in shifting perceptions and outcomes by 2021.”




he main aim of upholding

transformation is to contribute towards the empowerment of skills, and the enabling of small

businesses to thrive, plugging into the country’s overall economy and skills pool. Through the Momentum Metropolitan Masikhulise ESD Trust, which is a broad-based ownership scheme that hosts all Momentum Metropolitan’s ESD

initiatives, SMME’s are supported and funded, as

they boldly navigate untransformed value chains in the industry. “It’s been inspiring to witness a growing number of women entrepreneurs rise to success in their various fields through Momentum Metropolitan’s enterprise and supplier development programmes,” says Fiona Ally, Group Lead for Enterprise & Supplier Development : Transformation. “The Momentum Metropolitan ESD Trust was established four years ago, and has since been committed to improving the ability of qualifying entrepreneurs to access markets and funding, and to develop their businesses in a way that fosters inclusive growth,” adds Fiona.

Identified as Momentum Metropolitan’s top five strategic priorities; transformation is a key driver of the Reset and Grow strategy. With empowerment centred at the core objective of empowering the lives of people coming from different walks of life.

Beyond the transformation scorecard 53


Momentum Metropolitan’s Journey | continued

FROM LEFT TO RIGHT: lga Ncube of Kusile Hygiene & Industrial Services, Orianda Ntsompo of Orizoe Services, Jubi Nkumane of Jubzin Security, Grace Nthateng Seleka of Octavian Group, Pheliswa Ntila of PSU Services and Bongiwe Monakedi of Monabo Hygiene Services

Women entrepreneurs are improving their own lives as they tap into business development skills, finance and access to much broader markets, being able to support their communities. Olga Ncube of Kusile Hygiene & Industrial Services employs over 500 permanent employees and her company has been operating for 15 years, with a client base spanning across various large businesses including: King Shaka International Airport, North Gate Shopping Center and Engen Refinery among others. She says her primary role of starting a business was inspired by the urge to contribute to the sector and create employment. Her business has grown significantly since its inception in 2003, and has established a consistent income generator by improving revenue streams. “The greatest opportunity was for my business to be associated with a well-known brand like Momentum

Metropolitan. This changed the game for me, I learnt a lot

through the ESD programme which had lessons on how to grow my business through the various incubation programmes, and This year, ESD programmes focused primarily on SMME’s

networking with other entrepreneurs in the programme. The

within the cleaning and security services sectors, with five out of

guidance and assistance I received in learning how to formulate a

six businesses supported through Momentum Metropolitan’s

well-refined strategy to achieve my business goals, has empowered

ESD programme being 100% black-women owned. These six

me,” says Olga. Based on the objective to empower SMME’s and

entrepreneurs went through an extensive 18-month programme

budding entrepreneurs, Momentum Metropolitan continues to

“It’s been inspiring to witness a

g row i n g

nu m b e r


wo m e n

entrepreneurs rise to success in their various fields through Momentum Metropolitan’s enterprise and supplier

development programmes.” says Fiona Ally, Group Lead for Enterprise & Supplier Development : Transformation.

on business development

be an active role player towards creating a transformed industry.

training and support. They were rewarded for their

It is in this light that a Transformation and Diversity Forum

passion and dedication

was recently formed with the aim of assisting and supporting

in a graduation ceremony

the Momentum Metropolitan CEO and Exco to strategise and

that took place in August at

execute business transformation objectives, as they relate to

the Centurion head office.

employment equity, diversity and inclusion. This forum serves to enable an inclusive culture that will create a diverse workforce and

Entrepreneurship is a

enable business growth in its operating division, with the goal of

driver of development that is able to stimulate economic growth.

identifying and sharing best practices and leveraging them across

The ability to empower women is also highly integrated in the group’s

the business, to assist other units to achieve their transformation

structures and at the helm of the Enterprise Supplier Development

objectives. The Forum will strive to enable an inclusive culture that

(ESD) initiatives, is an all women led Board of Trustees, committed

will create a diverse workforce and enable business growth in its

to spearheading the implementation of key development areas.

operating divisions.



Financial Success

FIVE HABITS to multiply your money


ow many families do you know who aren’t struggling

to make ends meet? And, of those who do manage to meet their monthly commitments, how many are able to afford holidays, overseas trips, renovations to their homes or purchasing new cars? Executive Head of Transactional Banking at Momentum Multiply, Megan Harrison, says maintaining a healthy financial state is not easy for South Africans, especially in the current economic climate. “Although the official inflation rate is 4.5%, the reality is that prices of some essential goods and services increased much more. Fuel prices were 11.6% higher in May compared to a year ago, the price of water supplied by municipalities increased by 10.9%, medical expenses increased by 8.9% and school fees by around 7%. On top of it all, the income tax burden on households increased further in April, leaving families with significant strain on their budgets.” This results in families being left with less disposable income and higher expenses, making it difficult to balance their budgets. To offset this scenario, many

Although the official inflation rate is 4.5%, the reality is that prices of some essential goods and services increased much more. Fuel prices were 11.6% higher in May compared to a year ago, the price of water supplied by municipalities increased by 10.9%, medical expenses increased by 8.9% and school fees by around 7%. Megan Harrison Executive Head of Transactional Banking at Momentum Multiply

people feel compelled to dip into savings, cancel insurance, or increase debt. Harrison says achieving financial balance during difficult times necessitates additional effort. “Rather than avoiding the obvious truths about our finances, we need to take a good, hard look at where we stand, what we spend our money on and how much debt we have accumulated. Then, we need to come up with strategies to get onto a firmer financial footing.” While this may not be easy and also not something families like to do very often, it is necessary. Harrison recommends a few easy steps to get started on this journey to improved financial health.



1 2


Momentum Multiply | continued

Draw up a budget

Get a picture of what your monthly income and expenses look like. Use your bank

statements and bills as a starting point. This will allow you to establish where you are spending the most money and where you can cut down. But, ensure your expenses


remain in line with your financial goals as set out in your long-term financial plan.


Tackle your debt

Make a determined effort to pay off your debt and

not take on any more. Ensure that you pay monthly instalments on time to avoid incurring unnecessary fees

and interest charges. Settle the smallest debts first to

4 free up some cash.


Embrace rewards programmes Many South African companies offer their customers


Shop wisely

Don’t go shopping without a list and decide beforehand

how much you can spend. “Going shopping with a list keeps us

focused on what we actually need to buy, rather than splurge on luxuries we don’t need, and can’t really afford,” says Harrison.


Also check out the local newspapers for specials. Retailers reduce prices of various items.


Save on the small things that you can grow into bigger savings

On a final note, and perhaps most importantly, saving is a

rewards programmes for their loyalty, or to encourage

critical habit to secure a better today and tomorrow for you and

habits which enhance their overall wellness. Take

your family. Always try and put some money aside every month

advantage of these rewards programmes to increase

into savings vehicles. This will ensure you have cash on hand

your disposable income, or kick start your savings. For

for emergencies, holidays and your retirement.

example, an average Gold Member on the Momentum Multiply rewards programme usually saves R1 000 per month.



BELOW: Durban sporting their newly branded Momentum Metropolitan access cards

ABOVE: Nontokozo Madonsela and Minister Nathi Mthethwa celebrate with gsport Award winners LEFT: Can you feel the rush? Those who dared, conquered at the 2019 Multiply Adventure Challenge BOTTOM LEFT: This Jeanette On Air townhall was out of this world BELOW: Risto Ketola and Dumo Mbethe with the Momentum Metropolitan Botswana team



ABOVE: Momentum CSI and RallyToReadSA give kids a shot at being future leads LEFT: Celebrations were in order at Metropolitan’s Soweto Region when they managed to


achieve 82% PCR for May 2019

LEFT: Metropolitan leaders add their contribution to the 267 shoes collected on Mandela Month to help youth step up for success BELOW: Empowering the youth: Momentum Metropolitan’s 2019/2020 Intern group




Profile for Count Us In magazine

Count Us In: Issue 3  

Issue 3 of Momentum Metropolitan’s internal publication, Count Us In: This edition recaps on our F2019 full year results, which demonstrate...

Count Us In: Issue 3  

Issue 3 of Momentum Metropolitan’s internal publication, Count Us In: This edition recaps on our F2019 full year results, which demonstrate...