SA needs more than 16% black actuaries – Cyril Ramaphosa

2014-02-21 14:05

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

ANC deputy president Cyril Ramaphosa has made a call for more black actuaries as he vacates his position as chair of the SA Actuaries Development Programme.

The programme works in conjunction with the universities of Cape Town, Wits and Pretoria and financially supports black students who are studying actuarial science.

According to the Actuarial Society of SA, although the majority of qualified actuaries are white, student numbers show a move towards a more transformed profession.

In 2013, the Actuarial Society of SA had 956 qualified members (fellows and associates) of whom only 153 (16%) were black. In order to use the designation, actuaries must either be a fellow member of the Actuarial Society of SA or an associate member.

However, the society had 732 white actuarial student members, who had achieved an undergraduate or honours degree, and 728 African, Indian and coloured student members.

“We have put 396 young people through this programme and 145 of them or so graduated,” said Ramaphosa.

Ramaphosa said he was proud of the rate of transformation of the programme had been able to effect, but that more needed to be done.

“Many of us never thought that black people would be given an opportunity like this – to get into a profession like this – so soon after 1994. It has happened because we have been focused and quite pointed in what we wanted to achieve, so it’s important to reflect on where we’ve come from and where we are and say this is happening because this country has changed so much. It has changed irrevocably, and we will never be able to go back to where we come from because from now on we move ahead,” Ramaphosa said.

He said the next generation of students would not need as much help.

“You’ve needed the support because you come from a horrible past. Now that you are where you are, your own children and the children who follow that will not need support because what we do know is that the level of intelligence and the depth of understanding of issues resides in you and all that was needed in this programme was to unlock it,” he told students taking part in the programme.

“It was kept locked by the horrible apartheid system for many of us and for you, in part, but we have been able to unlock it and many of you are on your way to becoming actuaries and on your way to becoming what the president always calls ‘clever blacks’, and we are very proud of all that,” he said, laughing.

He also said he was grateful for the stability of the country, particularly when compared to the past and the ructions independence had caused in other African countries.

“We live in a very stable country, a country that has its own challenges and some of our challenges stem from the past, stem from the history, but they are very much challenges that we can address.”

Ramaphosa also said he was involved in a rolling mass campaign to encourage reading, especially at schools, which he loves to visit.

“Many South Africans don’t read, we hate books, we hate the written word. What I think we do love are cellphones; the penetration of cellphones is well over 130% in South Africa, but when it comes to reading, we are truly backwards.”

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions. publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.