22 June 2017 marked another significant day for black-owned suppliers in the automotive sector, with the official launch of the Volkswagen B-BBEE Initiatives Trust. Although established in 2016, it was publicly launched today to showcase the Trust and explain its objectives to suppliers, potential partners and the public in general.
The Trust is supported and endorsed by the Eastern Cape Government with the Hon. MEC of Economic Development, Mr Sakhumzi Somyo delivering the key note address. During his address the Hon. MEC thanked the Trust for the initiative and for the support shown to black-owned suppliers.
“The Volkswagen B-BBEE Initiatives Trust is one of the initiatives that Volkswagen introduced to implement our strategy of deepening localisation, increasing our competitiveness and business sustainability. This will also contribute to the economic growth of the region.” said Thomas Schaefer, Volkswagen Group South Africa Chairman and Managing Director.
The aim of the Trust is to increase the number of quality black-owned suppliers in the automotive sector value chain. The Trust will do this by primarily providing financial assistance and where required, non-financial assistance such as business development growth and accessing markets through supplier development relationships. This advice and support will be given to qualifying black-owned suppliers as well as white suppliers that are interested in becoming black-owned.
Although the Trust carries the name of VWSA, the B-BBEE Initiatives Trust is managed independently of VWSA by a Board of Trustees. The Trustees are, Mr. Siphamandla Ndawonde, Entrepreneur and part of the Government’s Black Industrialist Programme, Mr. Frans Nortje, Strategist and Researcher who has recently concluded research on the implementation of culture-sensitive improvement and transformation models in SA and Ms. Nonkqubela Maliza, Director of Corporate and Government Affairs at VWSA.
VWSA has already made a contribution to the Trust and the first investment by the Trust of R22 million was made to local supplier, Acoustex, to help them grow and develop their business. The aim of the Volkswagen B-BBEE Initiatives Trust is to support at least three other suppliers in 2017.
“VWSA continues to view the procurement from black-owned suppliers as a priority from both a moral and legislative compliance perspective. Therefore, the initial investment of R86 million shows that we as a company are committed to supporting and empowering black-owned suppliers in the Automotive industry through this independent Trust and other company based initiatives. We encourage Corporates throughout all industry sectors to get involved.” said Thomas Schaefer, Volkswagen Group South Africa Chairman and Managing Director.
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