JOHANNESBURG – Today saw a partnership between Nestlé South Africa and the Department of Small Business Development (DSBD) bear fruit.
DSBD on behalf of Minister Lindiwe Zulu and Nestle South Africa’s Managing Director, Remy Ejel, handed over delivery vehicles, Nestle products and cash safes to five micro-distributors as part of their partnership to grow Small Medium Micro Enterprises (SMMEs).
The remaining 34 micro-distributors currently operating in townships and rural areas will receive their delivery vehicles and other resources over the next few weeks.
This is the first stage in a joint Enterprise Development Programme by the two organisations to recruit, train, and develop 200 micro-distributors by 2020. The micro-distributors will become an extension of Nestlé’s distribution network.
Using this model, Nestlé products will be transported to customers such as spazas and superettes in townships and rural areas. In addition, over the next three years, it is envisioned that each micro-distributor will employ at least three permanent staff, creating 600 jobs in total.
The partnership includes capacity building and training for the micro-distributors in critical skills including financial management, warehouse management, asset maintenance, and up-skilling in sales and merchandising.
Commenting on the hand-over, Ravi Pillay, Corporate Affairs Director of Nestlé South Africa, said, “We are proud to have reached this point in the collaboration with the DSBD. We have now taken a first and concrete step towards more inclusive business in South Africa by creating opportunities for young people to start their businesses. In doing so we are ensuring our much-loved products are available closer to home for individuals and families in township and rural communities.”
Nestlé has been operating in South Africa for 102 years. As a member of Proudly South African, Nestlé has committed itself to contributing towards building the country’s economy and creating meaningful employment. This is in line with Nestlee’s purpose of enhancing quality of life and contributing to a healthier future for the people in South Africa.
Minister of DSBD, Lindiwe Zulu, expressed her department’s confidence in the partnership with Nestlé South Africa.
“This initiative is consistent with our objective of empowering small businesses and cooperatives as part of growing our economy and opening up economic opportunities for the historically marginalised. Our point of departure is that small businesses are the backbones of our economy and the main drivers of economic growth, poverty reduction and job creation,” Zulu said.
She added that collaborative programmes of this nature will go a long way in promoting entrepreneurship in the country. “We have a collective responsibility to ensure that this partnership becomes a sustainable instrument for job creation, skills development and black economic empowerment”.
– BUSINESS REPORT ONLINE