The Aveng group, currently the largest JSE-listed construction company by market capitalisation, recently provided a platform to enable its stable of black-owned emerging suppliers to showcase their capabilities and business offerings to key industry stakeholders.
The Aveng Black Suppliers Summit, held last month at Gallagher Estate, in Midrand, was aligned with the company’s drive towards transformation in the supply sector, as well as its support for emerging small, medium and micro enterprises (SMMEs).
SMMEs contribute around 40% of South Africa’s gross domestic profit, employing over half of the national private-sector workforce and more than 1.5-million self-employed people.
The company reports that, while it is encouraged by the number of emerging black suppliers in the infrastructure industry, these have been primarily observed in the exempt micro-enterprises space and are not seen to be growing at a financially sustainable pace.
“We are cognisant of the numerous challenges that confront emerging businesses, which include our suppliers, and intend to develop the capacity of emerg- ing black-owned enterprises with a view to ensuring their growth and long-term sustainability,” says Aveng Group CEO Roger Jardine.
Aveng currently houses over 3 000 black-owned supply companies on its database, with an average yearly spend of R6-billion and aims to continue increasing the proportion spent on black suppliers in the realm of preferential procurement.
Jardine acknowledges the group’s bias in supporting emerging enterprises that have a direct impact on its supply chain.
“This bias ensures that the emerging suppliers that we do business with become an integral part of our supply chain and, in the process, links their success inextricably to ours,” he notes.
To ensure long-term enterprise sustainability, Aveng provides skills transfer through training, development workshops and mentorship programmes, as well as technical and opera- tional support.