Taking – and sharing – action for a better world

08 November 2023 Kyle McWilliam, Head of Group Shared Services at Hollard Insurance Company

If you’ve ever thought about an issue and concluded that someone should do something about it, here’s the news: you’re actually the one who should be doing something.

It’s a simple thing: if we only ever talk about things, nothing will happen. Or perhaps the way to think about is that things will only ever happen if we stop talking (and act). Pointing out what is wrong, and complaining won’t solve anything. So act we must. For our own benefit and that of others.

There’s more. If we do things with others, we can achieve more than if we act individually. If we look out for each other, in a spirit of community and partnership, we look out for ourselves, too. All stakeholders benefit when they share not only a service, but also responsibility for it; in living up to the responsibility, they earn a share in the value created.

As an example, the Road Traffic Management Corporation, prompted by woeful statistics like over 12 436 road deaths in 2022, recently called on the private sector to work with the public sector on road-safety initiatives. In response, Hollard embarked on a joint venture with the Johannesburg Roads Agency to improve the so-called “Hollard Mile” (the section of Oxford Road that leads to the company’s picturesque head office campus in Parktown).

We worked together to ensure the functionality of the traffic lights on Oxford and Federation Roads during load-shedding. This has made life easier and safer for our employees and the public who use that intersection, and we’re looking to do more of this with our partners.

In addition, we established an initiative with landscapers, Life Landscapes to clean up and maintain the Hollard Mile, which has not only improved visibility and reduced the levels of rubble that road users have to contend with, but has also created four permanent jobs. Partnering with the right people, we’ve created a stretch of road that’s safer and more appealing for everyone: residents, businesses, road users and the authorities. You AND me.

This leads quite nicely to the concept of shared value – the idea that taking action to improve the economic and social conditions of communities can enhance organisational competitiveness. A better and larger demonstration of shared value, also involving road safety, is one that minimises insurance claims by encouraging safer driving.

Since 2017 our flagship Hollard Highway Heroes competition has identified and rewarded South Africa’s best and safest truck drivers (this year, bus drivers have also been included). Better driving means fewer accidents and thus fewer insurance claims, as well as lower running and maintenance costs for fleet owners. A win-win-win situation for everyone concerned.

This highlights the transformative potential of insurance. And demonstrates the power of our organisational purpose, which is to enable more people to create and secure a better future.

Our purpose suggests that our business is about a social dividend as much as it is about a financial one. “Better futures” isn’t just a fancy phrase – it’s our driving force, the unbreakable link between our purpose and our actions.

And it’s our actions that count. In making roads safer, and by partnering with others, we not only increase our profitability and make our business more sustainable, we create better futures for everyone. Including four more people, who thanks to the Hollard Mile, are able to put food on the table every day.

Quick Polls


What do you consider the most significant challenge in implementing the Two-Pot Retirement System?


Coping with new, unfinalised legislation, leading to uncertainty in implementation
Adapting to brand new claim types, requiring the development of digital, member-initiated claims capabilities
Addressing member education and awareness to correct misconceptions and ensure understanding of the system, including tax implications
All of the above
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