National retailer Massmart was named Overall Winner at the Absa Business Day Supplier development Awards that were held at a prestigious breakfast at The Empire Venue in Johannesburg. More than 400 entries were received for the inaugural Awards that were presented in partnership with Fetola, Cold Press Media, and Tiso Blackstar Group.

In a country where ‘business’ is often painted as self-serving, the Absa Business Day Supplier Development Awards explores ways to change this narrative. The lessons learned from this exercise have largely debunked the prevailing sentiment that corporates and parastatals in SA don’t invest in tomorrow’s business leaders.

The Awards showcase the gambit of best practice and acknowledge leading organisations with successful supplier development programmes that are making a lasting impact beyond simple scorecard compliance.  A panel of seven judges evaluated the entries from some of the country’s most prominent brands.

Catherine Wijnberg, CEO of Fetola and initiator of the Awards, says: “The 2018 finalists illustrate the huge impact that corporate South Africa has on the national growth and transformation agenda, and showcase how effective Supplier Development programmes can and do lead to sustainable growth, genuine empowerment, and positive benefits for all stakeholders.”

The 2018 Absa Supplier Development Award winners are:

Hatch Africa received the Newcomer Award sponsored by Sentech. The award acknowledges companies that have recently initiated Supplier Development programmes.

Hatch Africa was also the recipient of the Youth Award sponsored by Business Day, recognising companies whose Supplier Development initiatives focus on the youth. Multichoice South Africa Holdings and Nando’s were runners up.

The Innovation Award sponsored by Technology Innovation Agency, went to Massmart.  The award acknowledges companies whose innovative approach or ground-breaking methods are changing the game in Supplier Development. Property PointA Growthpoint Properties Limited Initiative, and Sappi Southern Africa (Sappi Forests) were runners up.

Sappi Southern Africa (Sappi Forests) received the Women’s Empowerment Award sponsored by Cold Press Media for companies whose Supplier Development initiatives focus on the empowerment of women. Multichoice South Africa Holdings, Hatch Africa, and Property Point were runners up.

The Rural Economies Award sponsored by Absa, was also presented to Sappi Southern Africa (Sappi Forests), with Pick n Pay Retailers and Coca-Cola Beverages South Africa the runners up. These companies were acknowledged for their Supplier Development initiatives focussed on rural economies.

The Small Supplier Award sponsored by Fetola acknowledges SME’s that exemplify excellence. These small suppliers were nominated by the finalists and supported in their programmes. The 2018 winner is Reapso SA, with Mila Cleaning the runner up.

The Overall Winner of the 2018 Supplier Development Awards sponsored by Absa was presented to Massmart in recognition of its outstanding Supplier Development program. Judges were especially impressed with the central role that Supplier Development plays in their competitive strategy, and their passion and commitment to the development of small suppliers with import-substitution and export potential. Multichoice South Africa Holdings and Sappi Southern Africa (Sappi Forests) were runners up.

Vusi Fele, Chief Procurement Officer at Absa says the importance of Supplier Development, particularly in the current South African context, should not be underestimated: “We are proud and delighted to be a partner of these inaugural Awards, which recognise and honour some of the country’s leading champions (both individuals and corporates) of Supplier Development. At ABSA we believe that opening up opportunities for SMEs to access corporate supply and delivery chains is one for the most efficient and consistent ways in which established corporates can contribute to sustainable entrepreneurship development.”

A series of post-Awards events – ‘The CEO Dialogues’ – will present a compelling platform for corporate South Africa to work together to generate collective learning.

The ABSA Business Day Supplier Development publication – released at the Awards – provides thought leadership pieces and a benchmark report for best practice.