The awards aim to showcase supplier development best practice and celebrate the efforts of large South African companies who have committed themselves to building inclusive and transformed supply chains that thrive.

"While times are challenging, supplier development presents a golden opportunity to develop resilience in supply chains and strengthen ecosystems," says Vusi Fele, chief procurement officer of Absa, the sponsors of the awards.

"For this reason, it is critical we build partnerships between the public and private sector, with corporates and small suppliers and use platforms like the awards to build a collaborative ecosystem that will deliver long-term benefits for all," adds Fele.

"The quality of the submissions this year was superb," says Catherine Wijnberg, CEO of Fetola and member of the adjudication panel. "Many of the finalists display a true commitment to a supplier development strategy that aims to bolster long term competitive advantage through greater small supplier resilience and improved efficiencies."

"Even in the face of the COVID-19 crisis, participants' commitment to strengthening our local ecosystem with meaningful collaboration is evident," adds Wijnberg.

The 2020 finalists, who were audited by BDO South Africa, comprise (in alphabetical order):
  • SAB
  • Sasol
  • Distell Group
  • SPAR Group Ltd
  • Empactgroup / Compass
  • Tigerbrands
  • EnviroServ Waste Management (Pty) Ltd
  • Unilever South Africa
  • Goodyear South Africa
  • V&A Waterfront, and
  • PetroSA
Wijnberg is joined on the adjudication panel by selected role-players in SME growth from the corporate and government sectors.

These include:
  • Desigan Chetty: chief operating officer, Property Point: A Growthpoint Initiative
  • Sekai Chiwandamira: regional chapter manager, ANDE
  • Vusi Fele: chief procurement officer, Absa Group Limited
  • Nosipho Khonkwane: STP executive manager, SEDA
  • David McGluwa: head of small business finance and regions, IDC
  • Dr. Rethabile Melamu: general manager of green economy, The Innovation Hub
  • Mamosa Motjope: managing director, Wamobu Consulting
  • Sebastian Musendo: head of supply chain strategy and transformation, Transnet
  • Karen Nadasen: chairperson of EFSA, CEO PayU
  • Christoff Oosthuysen: business development and enterprise development specialist, The EPI
  • Michal Pillay: supplier diversity, Absa Group Limited, and
  • Nicola Robins: co-founder and director, Incite 
Winners of the Absa Business Day Supplier Development Awards will be celebrated in a digital announcement on Wednesday, 9 September.

The following awards will be announced:
  • the Newcomer Award for a new strategic supplier development programme or project, which has shown merit in design thinking, innovation and commitment to growth
  • the Youth Development Award for exceptional results in supporting youth suppliers
  • the Black Women Development Award for exceptional results in supporting Black women suppliers
  • the Rural and Township Development Award for exceptional results in supporting rural and township-based suppliers
  • the Skills of the Future (4IR) Award for exceptional results in supporting suppliers with leading edge and scarce 4IR skills
  • the Local Manufacturing Award for local South African manufacturers or value-add services and products with import-substitution and / or export potential
  • the Collaboration Award for strategic action to develop industry relationships and foster cross-sector collaboration for the benefit of the wider ecosystem
  • the Small Supplier Award for a small supplier that is nominated by their corporate supplier development partner, who has excelled in accelerating their own and their client's success
  • the Impact Award for a company whose supplier development initiatives have substantially impacted the value chain, and
  • the Overall Winner Award, which is a discretionary award for the company that stands out as the leader in the supplier development in South Africa and will be an ambassador for the awards in 2020.
The awards will be preceded by a series of free digitised events with the finalists. It will be geared towards supply chain and supplier development professionals and will take place between Tuesday, 1 September and Thursday, 3 September.

For more information, visit You can also follow the Absa Business Day Supplier Development Awards on Facebook or on Twitter