Chairman's review

"The 2020 financial year has been a most challenging year for all, including our local and global counterparts in business. It is said that tragic events shape people and nations. COVID-19 is changing our destiny and the destiny of nations and communities forever."


In response to the current crisis, as a Board, we believe that it is our responsibility to guide AfroCentric in leveraging its position as the most diversified healthcare group to support its stakeholders in the provision of affordable, accessible healthcare – an aim that is more important than ever.

The impact of COVID-19 is thus pushing us as a corporate citizen to rethink how we do business and how to adapt to the changing needs of our shareholders, clients, staff and other stakeholders. Indeed, employees have been heavily impacted by these challenging circumstances.

However, our resilient and capable leadership, under the stewardship of our CEO, Ahmed Banderker, provided the necessary support to AfroCentric's employees during these uncertain times.


We find ourselves in a historic moment in time as our current crisis simultaneously touches every corner of the world. This has caused massive adverse economic impacts and may well result in significant demographic shifts. Furthermore, the pandemic has highlighted global inequalities, along with other alarming health and social challenges. As the pandemic continues to spread across the world in a unique and unprecedented manner, it would be foolhardy not to use the learnings gained from this extreme operating environment as an input for future planning. In this way, we ensure that AfroCentric is able to achieve its long-term ambitions of transforming healthcare for the benefit of all its stakeholders.

Many businesses had to halt their operations or adapt to entirely new business models to keep afloat. However, top of mind for AfroCentric was the challenge and consequence of remaining open to continue supporting the delivery of critical healthcare during this crisis. Although the pandemic has had limited impact on the Group's results, as most of our Group companies were classified as providers of essential services, the critical need to protect our people while adapting to new ways of working presented many challenges. However, driven by a focus on high-quality service during this time, AfroCentric has indeed risen to the challenge.

Truly, the Group's vision of transforming healthcare and its purpose of enhancing quality of life have never been more significant, or more deeply ingrained in each of our minds as we are called on to make strategic decisions at Board level. Having such a clear purpose for being, however, has been incredibly advantageous – enhancing our decision-making processes as the vision of the future we are striving towards is clear.


2020 was a year of consolidation following the Group's acquisitive journey over the past few years. The emphasis for the year was on mapping out the next strategic milestones, focusing on integration and leveraging the platform created to take yet another leap forward towards achieving AfroCentric's purpose.

Looking ahead, beyond the Group's medium-term strategy, longer-term ambitions are in place. The Group is working tirelessly to embed partnerships today that will benefit its stakeholders in years to come. That does not stop in a crisis. In fact, we believe that this crisis has created fertile ground for fostering and building value-enhancing partnerships.

Indeed, the magnitude of the challenges presented by COVID-19 should drive us towards more cooperativism – a process when an association of people voluntarily bond together for mutual economic, social and cultural upliftment. This is true in the healthcare sector as we band together to face this greatest of all tests.

Moreover, as the government becomes stretched out and stretched thin in these challenging times, struggling to do more with less to curb the pandemic, public-private cooperation is essential for our collective success. The challenges presented by the pandemic are confirmation that for the NHI to succeed in similar circumstances, in an inclusive way, we all need to work together with government for the benefit of all our citizens.

As a Group, AfroCentric will continue supporting the government in every way possible to fight fundamental healthcare challenges and to forge the path forward in realising our purpose and mission.


Good governance and sustained value creation go hand in hand. As a Board, we recognise and embrace our responsibility to ensure ethical and effective leadership throughout the Group. We believe that the tireless pursuit of this aim has contributed to the ability of the organisation to respond efficiently and effectively, with a strong sense of purpose during this time of crisis.

I would, therefore, like to take the time to thank those who have been an integral part of this journey. To Lindani Dhlamini; who retired this year as a Lead Independent Non-executive Director and chairperson of the Audit and Risk Committee; Grathel Motau, who retired this year as an Independent Non-executive Director, and Ian Kirk, who retired as a Non-executive Director, thank you for your contribution to achieving AfroCentric's purpose. We also say farewell to Thinus Alsworth-Elvey and thank him for his contributions to the Group.

At the same time, I would like to welcome Gary Allen, Alice le Roux and Mmaboshadi Chauke, who were appointed as Non-executive Directors during the reporting period. I would also like to welcome Jurie Strydom, who was appointed as a Non-executive Director with effect from 1 August 2020. We look forward to your contributions in the years to come.


In light of the already dampened economic prospects, compounded by the significant economic impact of COVID-19, we anticipate a period of sustained economic weakness in 2021 and beyond, as South Africa strives to overcome the effects of the pandemic and reboot economic activity. As a healthcare Group, we remain committed to contributing positively to the government's efforts to fight the virus and to support economic recovery.

To ride out any storm effectively, one should be resourceful and resilient by anticipating problems and having possible solutions at the ready. In this endeavour, we will continue leveraging our diversified business model and the powerful benefits of technology to make AfroCentric more innovative and efficient as the Group implements its strategy and, in so doing, broadens access to sustainable, affordable and quality healthcare.


In the current crisis, for me, being of service to others and acting humanely is critical. I have seen this spirit embodied in my fellow Board members and the Executives. Thank you for demonstrating authentic, purpose-led leadership in challenging circumstances.

The Group had five mortalities due to COVID-19 and we are deeply saddened by the losses. Our heartfelt condolences are with their loved ones. May their souls rest in peace.

And lastly, to the Group's shareholders and broader stakeholders, thank you for your continued support.

There are trying times ahead for us all, but with continued cooperation and commitment, we can overcome. As a truly South African company, we have sought, at all times, to ensure that our COVID-19 response demonstrates our broader commitment to humanity and the valued citizens of our country.

Dr Anna Mokgokong