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Readers respond to Vuyani Ngalwana's interview

08 December 2005 Angelo Coppola

After an email we sent out on Vuyani Ngalwana's opinion on BEE, we were flooded with mails from our readers. Here are a selection of the comments.

To Vuyani,

It was with great interest and understanding that I read your letter.

I make one plea only - please live for the future and stop re-kindling the past, this not only goes for you as a person in a new appointment but for all who have been wronged in one way or another - be it a battered wife, abused child or broken marriage, poor boss - employee relationship.

Use the future and not the past to build on and always ask "what can I do to better matters, how can I solve the problem and not be the problem."

I pray that you will stay strong in your will to succeed but that greed and power not overcome you with the new future.

2.

Having read, partially, the article it now makes perfect sense how he arrives at his judgements, nuff said.

3.

The article penned by Mr Ngalwana is excellent. He writes well and reminds me of the style of the FM editor who also writes brilliantly.

4.

Must the old apartheid past be brought back out of its grave in every industry sector of this country? Give a new south African a podium and this always the predictable nonsense sprouted at every occasion! I do not believe that this bodes well for building any nation or our industry!

5.

I read the article by the PFA.

It interests me to read, see, hear and feel this racism in the "leaders" of the "party" even thoughthey are in "AA" positions.

If they were confident, had positive self images, their self efficacy levels were stable, then surely this "policital rhetoric" would not be relevant. I site the example of leaders such as the founder of the company "Black like Me" who has overcome the inequalities of the past (during the past!).

Do I depict an anger? Surely such should not have a place in a "responsible leadership" position where objective and well thought out strategies should be followed.

The leadership however struggles to put the past behind them and build a non-racial newness for all to enjoy.

When a leader feels inadequate they tend to return to a prejudice, either ill conceived or otherwise. Was the "NP" to which the PFA constantly refers not of this inclination?

6.

Hierdie persoon het 'n groot probleem en slaan sy haat soos 'n groot seer uit!

Mag ek nooit nodig h om met hom oor n pensioen aangeleentheid te praat nie.

7.

VN is doing a great job. Well done.

8.

More power to his elbow. My own RA has been with TMA/Fedsure/Investec for 12 years and during that time every RA I have sold (within the limits) has been unit trust based. Why?

Because I personally would not buy one! That is why I would not sell one. Why?

Hello! Hello! Look at the costs!

If you have been selling insurance company RAs over the last decade it is either because you do not understand the cost structure or you want commission at all costs.

I have no sympathy with those attacking the PFA..

9.

Wow! This guy has a chip on his shoulder the size of Table Mountain. The way he's going about his business will certainly make him more enemies than friends.

10.

Yes he certainly does. His rulings are perhaps very disturbing for the industry, but as a broker I've often been embarrased by the penalties insurers charged against RA's.

On inquiry they had the nerve to tell the policyholder that the broker commissions were the reason for the penalties, yet they have reversed my commissions and gave NO credit to the policyholder.

Needless to say that we have ceased marketing insurance related savings products 2 years ago.

Retirement funding (like health care funding) is a classic example of social problems being addressed with capitalistic products. The corporate greed of the financial services industry is really sickening.

Thousands of people in the industry have lost their jobs as technological development replaced their functions, yet the policy fees, bank charges etc. had been escalating at an alarming rate whilst their customers do the servicing work themselves.

Top management is grossly overpaid. (I do not believe any human being's labour is worth as much as R10 million per annum). Some of them are paid more than 500 of their medium income employees collectively.

It is impossible to address a social issue properly if shareholders' interests is the primary agenda. Do yourself a favour and compare insurers' costs and penalties, before and after demutualisation. Perhaps it is time to look at the Mutual Society model again, where the policyholders are the only shareholders.

Ironically, RA products with NO penalties and clawbacks had been available for quite some time, making the traditional stuf totally obsolete. Yes, the marketing force can hardly make a living selling them, however it is real comforting to have a lot of happy clients out there.

I personally believe that RA commissions should work like all other pension products. 7.5% on as and when basis with a downward sliding scale for large premium business. If one would apply exactly the same scale as group schemes devided by 10, it could be a very workable solution.

11.

I dont know if this was valuable information about AA or just a political attack on a party that no longer plays an active role. I think there could have been more valuable issues, such as results and skills mentioned.

12.

Ek kan nie glo dat iemand wat soveel onverwerkte haat en emosies koester en vertroetel 'n pos beklee wat soveel mag en outoriteit behels nie. Miskien moet hy eers vir berading gaan sodat hy dan daarna sy werk objektief kan benader.

Nou verstaan ek waarom Sanlam die meeste pak kry. Dit is skreiend om te dink dat so 'n

persoon in beheer is van ons pensioenfondse. Hy besef glad nie wat die skade is wat hy aan die totale finansile sektor aanrig nie.

13.

I really do appreciate Ngalwana's openess about how he feels and have lots of respect for all people, no colour taken into account, who have achieved despite adverse circumstances.

I also believe that lots of people despite their colour or language has/have little opportunity and a myriad of obstacles to achieve to their full potential whether it be the education of their parents or their parent's parents which have set a certain complacency about their future and lifestyle.

I also believe that the people who have achieved (again despite colour) would have achieved anyway no matter their circumstances. I will allow that a lot of potential has fallen through the cracks of opportunities not favouring them but please lets get away from the previous governments and see to it that it does not happen again to any person.

On the subject of incompetence and AA I fully agree and hope a person with similar views as the PFA can be given the opportunity to "adjudicate" local governments on competence etc.

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