Addressing the South African Actuaries Development Programme (SAADP) Annual Alumni Gala Dinner in Johannesburg at the weekend, Ramaphosa said although the programme in South Africa had achieved a lot since it was launched 14 years ago, much more needed to be done to still realise the vision initially set.

He added: “In a developing country such as ours, having accurate, reliable and detailed insight about our possible futures is crucial to the achievement of our developmental goals.

“The skills you possess and the methods you employ enable us, as partners in development, to plan and manage our economic trajectory with a semblance of confidence and certainty”.

He pointed out: “Your work is at the centre of our financial ecosystem. It is critical to its performance, its sustainability and ultimately its survival. It informs how we deploy our resources, how we manage risk and how we prepare for the future.”

He said the success of this programme demonstrated that there was a great deal of hidden talent among the youth of the country, and it demonstrated that South Africa had not even begun to realise its latent potential in the fields of mathematics and science.

“Untapping this resource must become a national obsession. We cannot think and plan without numbers. We cannot make sense of our present without statistics and we cannot plan for the future without actuarial modeling” he added.

“It is for these reasons that we must, working together, do everything to improve our investment in education. We must, in particular, increase the number of black and female students entering these fields of study,” Ramaphosa said.