The COVID-19 coronavirus has thrown the world a giant curveball, with many people’s best-laid pre-lockdown plans either being shelved or scrapped completely. If there’s one thing COVID -19 has taught us in these ‘early’ days, it’s that with a pandemic of this nature where we’re all linked and dependent on each other – and rightfully so – there’s a knock on effect for everyone.  When one domino starts tumbling, it’s felt all the way down the line. 

As COVID-19 takes a grip and the worldwide response starts to take effect, it is anticipated that the global economy will be entering a recession with significant impacts on domestic economies, the scale of which is uncertain. Amidst this uncertainty, it is anticipated that there will be major supply chain disruption, a period of damage control, and a subsequent retooling and recalibration for the ‘new normal’- underpinned by a critical, cohesive global and domestic response to reignite growth.

“Never before have we been called to change so rapidly and as leaders in supplier development. Right now, we need to reflect on our strategic priorities and embrace resilience strategies to protect against supply chain disruption and assist our suppliers,” says Catherine Wijnberg, CEO of Fetola.

With this in mind, the Absa Business Day Supplier Development Awards in partnership with Fetola, Cold Press Media, and Arena Holdings, recognises the necessity to bridge the gap between suppliers and corporates in South Africa. To maintain the symbiosis that’s kept everyone buoyant, the need to start now to focus on recovery and rebuilding after a global pandemic is essential. Now is the time for business to show its commitment to build thriving, inclusive and healthy supply chains, to get the South African economy back on track as soon as possible.

“The Absa Business Day Supplier Development dialogue series will look at how to do this, as well as go beyond medium term priorities embracing the digital domain, rapid transformation and efficient delivery models. Post-COVID, we look at recovery strategies for struggling supply chains and suppliers, retooling and reimagining a competitive future,” says Wijnberg.

Corporates, suppliers and SME’s are invited to participate in the Absa Business Day Supplier Development digital hub, created to facilitate business recovery in South Africa.  The hub will offer a series of webinars and videos, along with other content to provide an opportunity to engage with peers and build valuable networks from afar. It’s a platform to help businesses learn and partner with experts in the industry who can share insights and ideas on how to get through this difficult time.

“Collaboration over this time will be essential in supporting the global and domestic response and to reignite growth,” concludes Wijnberg.

Join us online at 09h30 on Tuesday 21 April 2020, as we explore ways to limit the impact of COVID-19 on the supply chain, by embracing the digital domain.  We’ll look at

  • How have supply chains been disrupted?
  • What digital solutions are essential at this time?
  • What future digital tools and delivery models are needed in the supply chain?
  • How can digital delivery models enhance competitiveness?
  • Innovations to assist SMMEs and bridge the gap with corporates

For more information about participating, contact or register at

Amidst the current State of Disaster declared by the Government with regards to the coronavirus COVID-19 outbreak, the highly anticipated Absa Business Day Supplier Development Awards which were planned to take place in Johannesburg on 20 May 2020 have been rescheduled to take place 9 September 2020 in Johannesburg. Stay in-the-know by following the Absa Business Day Supplier Development Awards’ social media channels (Facebook: Absa BD Supplier Development Awards Twitter: @BDSupplierDev)