2021 Winners


Overall Winner – sponsored by Absa

A South African company of over 100-years-old, Tiger Brands has been proactively managing their role in society by integrating their company’s purpose of “nurturing and nourishing more lives every day” into their ESD strategy 2025.   

Supplier development is central to the strategic future of Tiger Brands, who aim to increase their procurement spend with black agriculture and non-agricultural enterprises, secure agricultural food supply within South Africa through localised sourcing, and develop production and financial capacity of Black-owned Enterprises through the provision of procurement access, financial and technical support.

Agri supply chain development includes agri procurement access, import replacement, funding support, land access support and agrarian technical support.  Tiger Brands has established an aggregator model with strategic partners that enable micro and small holding farmers to benefit from out-grower contracts, finance and technical support, while developing black mega farmers.

Initiatives are underpinned by strong collaborative partnerships with government, colleges, mining houses and their pipeline partners. There is a focus on technology investment with an agri-eco system platform to enable registration, land, farmer, aggregator, and procurement linkages and market access. 

Tiger Brands CEO has directed that in addition to quarterly ESD, social and ethics reporting, Tiger Brands EXCO visit their ESD projects.

Newcomer Award

Uyandiswa’s CEO is passionate about using their good standing to unlock opportunities for others by supporting upcoming businesses, especially black, women-owned businesses that typically lack resources.  They differentiate their supplier development efforts by letting the SMEs hold them accountable to ensure they deliver on their promises.

SD beneficiaries use Uyandiswa premises and infrastructure so that their close proximity promotes partnering, mentorship and collaboration. For Uyandiswa, supplier development is a business imperative that ensures they actively contribute towards alleviating the social ills brought on largely by poverty and lack of access.

Innovation Award

On a macro level, the V&A Waterfront’s unique differentiator is that it uses private resources to drive innovations to address problems that cities struggle with globally; prototyping and testing these innovations, learning from the failures and building on the successes, until it is able to share findings and outcomes.

On a micro level, technology in their SME and supplier development include a focus on 21st century skills for youth, SMME training webinars, e-commerce week with 5 webinars, online sales platforms, e-commerce, sales distribution, payment gateways, click and collect, a digital marketing series and social-media marketing with search engine optimisation.

Over and above the standard support like access to finance and markets, the V&A Waterfront SMME support includes research and development, design thinking, providing laboratory / prototyping space and innovation, and digital support through their SMME online helpdesk.

Youth Focus Award

Anglo American Zimele has undergone a major realignment – from a funder of small and micro-enterprises (SMEs) to being an enabler of growth. Zimele’s strategy focuses on coaching and mentoring entrepreneurs, with a special focus on the development of youth to provide economic opportunities in their host communities.

In the last three years, SME suppliers totalled 2 038 enterprises and youth beneficiaries in the programme, with 5 208 jobs supported. And in 2020 specifically, Zimele supported 300 youth suppliers, all of which were township or rurally based, and collectively SMEs supported over 2 500 jobs.

Women Focus Award – sponsored by Cold Press Media

The Empact Group impact lives and communities through a transformative and inclusive approach, which is deeply embedded in their strategy and culture. They actively aim to increase the value of business allocated to black, women owned suppliers and leverage the inherent qualities of female entrepreneurs.

With almost 50 women owned SMEs and over 700 female jobs supported across their SMEs, the judges were impressed by their spend of 34.9% on black, women owned suppliers, as a percentage of SME spend.

Since winning this award in 2020, the Empact Group recognize that black, women entrepreneurs support their local communities and give back wherever they can. By providing further access to supply chain, women owned businesses continue to create jobs and succeed, independently of the Empact Group.

Rural and Township Focus Award

As deserving winners of the Rural Award, the SPAR Rural Hub model addresses a systemic issue. The SPAR Rural Hub supports small scale farmers through an aggregation hub and creates markets for their produce. This enables job creation, income generation, infrastructure development, skills transfer and empowerment, while creating a quality food system that complies with the Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI).

November 2020 saw the culmination of four years of farmer advancement through SPAR’s customised accredited GAP programme. Their road to full food safety is arguably the most significant aspect to the initiative. Hub farmers have progressed from producing low value/ margin crops to growing high value /margin crops for SPAR, delivered daily into 3 SPAR distribution centres.

Currently the SPAR Rural Hub supports 14 small scale farmers and has created 144 full time jobs at farm level and an additional 47 secondary jobs through the hub packhouse staff and technical support staff.

Emerging Technology Award

Exxaro Resources has digitised their sourcing to payment supplier interface platform, providing an easy way for suppliers to interact with the company. Previously, Exxaro communicated via emails, with documents being stored on their systems. Service providers were not able to interact with or update their documents such as tax clearance documents. Since automating the supplier interface system, prospective and existing suppliers can access and respond to tender requests online.

Exxaro Resources provide IT support to facilitate participation. Suppliers update their documents online with the system alerting them when documents are expiring. The system provides a full data audit trail of tenders, suppliers, documentation and procurement details, which can be filtered, audited and reported on.

The Localisation Award

The Empact Group’s intent is to grow the local ecosystem. They believe that SMEs need to understand that working within a sustainable ecosystem offers long-term opportunities. They maintain that because ecosystems are fragile, parties need to be respectful and fair, to make the ecosystem sustainable and rewarding for all.

Empact Group’s SMEs are expected to identify, present and report on the ways they can and do support local beneficiaries outside of Empact Group’s reach. The SMEs are encouraged to employ from local communities and pay it forward by giving back to them.

The Empact Group collaborates with local agricultural departments to bring opportunities to local farmers, straight into their local and Gauteng supply chain outlets.

Collaboration Award – sponsored by Fetola

Tiger Brands has acknowledged it will never have enough financial resources to achieve the scale of its supply chain transformation, thus collaboration with like-minded partners in the public sector, private sector, and civil society is part of their ESD strategy.

To achieve targets, Tiger Brands syndicates finance with strategic partners to deliver on objectives, e.g. Anglo American Platinum partnership secured through Zenzele Itereleng, to invest in Agri projects in North West.

Examples of Tiger Brands partnerships include:

  • assisting aggregators secure Exxaro financing for planters and harvesters;
  • a financing partnership with Land Bank for black farmers; and
  • a R350m black developmental investment trust Mega Fund to support black aggregators
  • a technical partnership with Crop Life and Agriculture Research Council, to support black farmers to access cutting edge scientific agriculture information to ensure land sustainability, improve yields over time and reduce land erosion.

Small Supplier Award – sponsored by IDC

Through Distell’s relationship with their supplier Stellar Wines, they partnered with Stellar Agri to create a joint venture to finance Lukas Theunissen, a youth from the local rural area to establish Stellar Agri.

Lukas’ technical competence ensured that in just three years, the venture had become a major producer of organic vegetables for local retailers like Woolworths, where supply was based on production quality and volumes.

Through Distell’s further investment of R300 000 in continuous training of Stellar Agri’s staff and management training for Lukas, he now manages the farm and most of the business operations, and works with Stellar Winery on the domestic and international marketing and business development of Stellar Agri. Turnover has grown by over 20% from R37.5 in 2019, to R47m in 2020, and Stellar Agri has become an exporter of vegetable seeds for the international market.

Outstanding Growth in a Small Supplier Award (SPECIAL AWARD)

Lerato Lelaka of MBR runs a South African contract mining and consulting business offering geological, mining, material handling, stockpile, and coal quality management services.

In 2019, in response to the pandemic, Exxaro invested and allocated R200 million to ESD transformation. MBR was one of the companies that benefitted as Exxaro provided MBR with a zero-interest loan of R25 million to acquire mining operations assets.
As a result MBR were able to create employment opportunities in the mining community of Belfast. MBR demonstrated sustained growth during this challenging period, with 94 people employed in 2018, growing to 279 in 2021 and increased revenue from R38 million to R377.4 million in the same period.

MBR’s vision is to be a world-class partner of choice for the mining industry in Africa. CEO Lerato Lelaka describes MBR’s relationship with Exxaro as a legacy partnership facilitated by common goals of powering Africa and beyond led by the next generation.

The COVID-19 Recovery Award (SPECIAL AWARD)

The liquor industry was ‘shut down’ for extended periods during lockdown, and yet Distell increased their efforts, budget and support of SMEs in their Supplier Development initiatives by “leveraging partnerships to improve livelihoods”.

Distell also focused on greater alignment of their eleven operational, enterprise, supplier development and preferential procurement programmes to the sustainable development goals, thus ensuring all round sustainability focus (SDGs).

With over R19 million invested in ESD activities in 2021 and an investment portfolio of over R100 million maintained during the liquor lockdown, the judges commend Distell for following through with their small supplier support, even during these very tough times.

Distell goes beyond being an SD player, to facilitating industry level interventions, like working with the National Department of Agriculture on the apple juice concentrate value chain.

Judges Commendation for Commitment to Economic Empowerment across the Supply Chain

Debswana has introduced a Citizen Economic Empowerment Policy (CEEP) to make a meaningful and lasting contribution to the Botswana economy, by enabling and capacitating citizen companies to participate in the Debswana supply chain in place of the foreign companies. Debswana has extended contracts of over BWP1billion in funding to SMEs over the past three years using the CEEP policy.

Judges Commendation for Commitment to Women Inclusion in the Supply Chain

Supplier development is aligned with Africom’s company purpose and vision of transforming Lives. This means leaving no one behind when it comes to growth. This is achieved by collaboratively fixing the gaps across the supply value chain.  

Supplier performance is improved by building the capacity of small, local and diverse suppliers, to promote innovation and flexibility of local suppliers, reduce inequality and provide opportunities for marginalised business groups to impact the local economy through job creation.

Safricom provides extensive support services to their suppliers, with a focus on SMEs and women in supply chain.  Of the 205 prequalified women suppliers, 65 women SMEs received business support and contracts.

Judges Commendation for Commitment to Localisation of the Supply Chain

Over the past decade, Tullow Oil has ensured that their supplier development initiatives remain relevant and are tailored to address the needs of suppliers in the upstream oil and gas sector.  Tullow Oil has worked with key contractors to award substantial sub-contracts to indigenous Ghanaian companies for highly technical scopes of work, so they have an opportunity to develop their capabilities. 

The Ghana business focuses on delivering maximum value from the Jubilee and TEN fields under the Ghana Value Maximization Plan.  When fully executed, the plan will see a further $4bn investment in Tullow’s Ghana operations over the next ten (10) years, which will lead to more activities and an increase in production. That means more suppliers, more supply volume requirements and more opportunities to develop local suppliers to support their operations in Ghana.

Judges Newcomer Commendation for Commitment to a Pioneering Supplier Development

Historically in Mozambique there is a low spend with local suppliers as SMEs lack access to opportunities to supply goods and the negative perception that SMEs cannot provide quality and speed, compared to large businesses.

Vodacom Mozambique has successfully launched a supplier portal and access to finance programme with Absa Bank Mozambique. The platform is still in its early stages to support the initial push for the dissemination of procurement opportunities in Mozambique and make this information available to all.

Vodacom’s partners with access to finance as a primary objective, provides non-traditional loans to Vodacom’s suppliers, a range of business banking services and access to the market.

Reviewed by – BDO