Van Afrikanerkultuur tot korporatief : die geskiedenis van Sanlam se hoofkantoor-personeelkorps 1918 – 2008

Beukes, Wynand (2017-12)

Thesis (PhD)--Stellenbosch University, 2017.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: The South African company Sanlam was founded in 1918 as a direct result of the growth of Afrikaner nationalism. An objective with the establishment of Sanlam as a life insurance company was the settlement of Afrikaners in the South African economy and thereby their economic upliftment. From the beginning, the company was known principally as an Afrikaans institution focussing on Afrikaner interests. The company was aiming at the settling of itself as a South African establishment rendering a service to the entire South African community. The building-blocks of Afrikaner nationalism – the Afrikaans language, the uplifting of Afrikaners, the accentuation of their history and Christian Protestantism – were openly allowed to flourish in the company. Black people were staff members from the start, but were directly affected later by legislation and views of segregation and apartheid, a system dividing South Africans on a racial basis especially after the National Party (NP) rose to office in 1948. Separate accommodation, recreational and dining facilities were established in the company. The white staff members’ organisational culture was intensely affected by elements of industrial paternalism, under which housing and organised culture and sport, among other things, were provided by the company. This form of paternalism created an ideal environment for the development of loyalty to the company, conveyed by the expression “Sanlam spirit”. This company alliance was not sufficient enough to detach staff members from non-ideological exogenous events. They witnessed technological development from the typewriter to the most modern computer applications and experienced the preferences and disapprovals for clothing and the smoking habit, for instance. The position of women in the company was also directly influenced by external factors. In tandem with the rest of the world, they were marginalised too. In the seventies, the tables started turning for them. In the same decade, political developments began to influence staff members intensively. They became part of the militarisation of the South African white community against the increasing rise of militant black nationalism. Political reforms led to the crumbling of the building-blocks of Afrikaner nationalism. The transition in South Africa from a white minority government to a black majority government under the African National Congress (ANC) in 1994 affected the staff profoundly. The company had to transform to meet the political demands of the new government. It was compelled to appoint more black staff members. Simultaneously, the company was forced to reconstruct to keep up with economic changes. Sanlam changed from a mutual life office to a corporative financial services institution. In 2008, nine decades after its establishment, it was transformed into a true new South African company when black staff members emerged as the majority for the first time. The continuous changes during 90 years were a reflection of exogenous events in the Afrikaner community in particular and in South Africa and the rest of the world in general. This all influenced the establishment and settlement of and the changes to the company’s organisational culture.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Die Suid-Afrikaanse maatskappy Sanlam is in 1918 gestig as ‘n regstreekse gevolg van die opwelling van Afrikaners se nasionalisme. ‘n Doelwit met die totstandbrenging van Sanlam as ‘n lewensversekeringsmaatskappy was die vestiging van die Afrikaners in die Suid-Afrikaanse ekonomie en hul gevolglike ekonomiese opheffing. Die maatskappy het van die begin af bekend gestaan as ‘n Afrikaanse onderneming wat in hoofsaak op Afrikanerbelange ingestel was. Uit ‘n ekonomiese oogpunt was die maatskappy daarop toegespits om hom as ‘n Suid-Afrikaanse instelling te vestig wat ‘n diens aan die hele Suid-Afrikaanse gemeenskap lewer. Die boustene van Afrikanernasionalisme – die taal Afrikaans, die opheffing van Afrikaners, die belewing van hul geskiedenis en Christen-Protestantisme – is toegelaat om openlik in die maatskappy te gedy. Swart mense was van die begin af personeellede, maar is later intens beïnvloed deur wetgewing en opvattings ten opsigte van segregasie en apartheid waarvolgens Suid-Afrikaners veral ná die Nasionale Party (NP) se bewindsaanvaarding in 1948 op ‘n rassegrondslag geskei is. Aparte huisvestings-, ontspannings- en eetgeriewe is in die maatskappy gevestig. Die wit amptenare se organisasiekultuur is intens beïnvloed deur elemente van industriële paternalisme, byvoorbeeld die verskaffing van huisvesting en maatskappy-georganiseerde kultuur en sport. Dié paternalisme het ‘n ideale omgewing geskep vir die ontwikkeling van lojaliteit jeens die maatskappy, verwoord deur die uitdrukking “Sanlamgees”. Desondanks dié maatskappyverbintenis kon die personeellede nie van nie-ideologiese eksogene gebeure ontsnap nie. Hulle het tegnologiese ontwikkeling van die tikmasjien tot die modernste rekenaaraanwending ervaar en sosiale voor- en afkeure jeens byvoorbeeld kleredrag en die rookgewoonte beleef. Vroue se stand by die maatskappy is ook regstreeks deur eksogene gebeure geraak. Tot in die sewentigerjare is hulle in pas met die res van die wêreld geringgeskat, maar die wiel het toe positief vir hulle begin draai. In dieselfde dekade het die opkoms van militante swart nasionalisme daartoe gelei dat personeellede, soos die res van die Suid-Afrikaanse wit gemeenskap, gemilitariseer geraak het. Politieke hervorming het daartoe gelei dat die boustene van Afrikanernasionalisme verkrummel het. Die oorgang in 1994 in Suid-Afrika van ‘n wit minderheids- na ‘n swart meerderheidsregering onder die African National Congress (ANC) het die personeel intens beïnvloed. Die maatskappy moes transformeer om aan die nuwe regering se politieke eise te voldoen. Hiervolgens moes al hoe meer swart personeellede aangestel word. Voorts moes die maatskappy herstruktureer om ekonomies tred te hou. In dié omvattende veranderingsproses het die maatskappy ontwikkel in ‘n korporatiewe finansiëledienste-onderneming. Sanlam het in 2008, nege dekades ná sy stigting, ‘n groot tree na ‘n ware nuwe Suid-Afrikaanse maatskappy gegee toe die meerderheid van personeellede vir die eerste keer uit swart mense bestaan het. Die voortdurende herstrukturering en transformasie oor nege dekades heen was ‘n weerspieëling van eksogene gebeure in Afrikanergeledere in die besonder en Suid-Afrika en die res van die wêreld in die algemeen. Dit het alles ‘n invloed uitgeoefen op die stigting, vestiging en verandering van die maatskappy se organisasiekultuur.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/102834
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