On Wednesday 23rd May 2018, Zahra and I attended the first ABSA Supplier Development Awards #SDAwards at The Empire in Johannesburg.

This pioneering awards ceremony has been launched by ABSA to recognise those corporates in South Africa who have gone above and beyond what is required of them in developing small business and their supply chains locally, to promote economic growth and transformation.

The event was attended by approximately 100 CEOs, MDs and corporate representatives, with big brands such as Massmart, Pick ‘n Pay, Coca-Cola and Growth Point, among other “blue chip” companies represented. The event saw these companies sharing their SD programmes, successes and challenges and ultimately being recognised for the great work they are doing.

Some key take-aways for me included (paraphrased):

  1. Corporates need to look at the issuance of orders for the growth, operational optimisation and sustainability of SMEs in supplier development and should not be issuing orders that result in negative growth for these SMEs – Vukani Mngxati: Country Managing Director, South Africa and Africa GU Managing Director, Accenture
  2. Due to order lead times of FMCG items from competing countries, i.e. time on the water, there is a clear case for industrial localisation in the retail sector – Brian Leroni: Head of Corporate Affairs, Massmart
  3. Push back on plastic means that there are opportunities for environmentally friendly, paper-based packaging – Alex Thiel: CEO Sappi SA
  4. Coca Cola has transferred R400mil p.a. of spend for canning to a new Black entrant – Velaphi Ratshefola: Managing Director, Coca-Cola Beverages South Africa (Pty) Ltd
  5. Now more than ever we have a deep responsibility to help transform the economy and society – Suzanne Ackerman-Berman: Director of Transformation for Pick ‘n Pay Group, Board Director and Chairman of Ackerman Pick ‘n Pay Foundation

The alignment of Uzenzele’s industrial focus and mandate to “Grow SA by Growing Business” cements our position in the Supplier Development sector and narrative. We are proud to have been selected to attend and participate in these meaningful economic discussions which will see growth and transformation in South Africa.

We are proud to have been part of the first Supplier Development Awards in conjunction with BDlive, Absa,FetolaCold Press Media and Tiso Blackstar, and are excited to support corporate SA capitalise their manufacturing suppliers to ensure sustainable supply through governmental development funding