Steel merchant Macsteel has committed to paying small and medium-sized enterprise (SME) suppliers within 30 days, in a bid to contribute to the growth of this critical sector of the South African economy.
Macsteel is the latest company to join Business for South Africa’s (B4SA’s) #PayIn30 campaign.
The company, with its more than 116 years of experience, says it understands that building a sustainable enterprise comes with numerous challenges.
“Even large corporates continue to face sustainability hurdles daily, never mind the plight that SMEs confront, particularly when it comes to liquidity,” Macsteel says.
One of the biggest reasons small businesses are failing is simply running out of money. Cash flow remains a lifeline for SMEs to not only meet their commitments at the end of the month, but get into a position where they are able to grow.
“And with over 2.25-million SMEs in South Africa accounting for nearly 11-million jobs, Macsteel is committing to play its part in easing their financial pressures and opening that opportunity for growth,” the company states.
“We understand the key pressures facing SMEs prior to the pandemic and appreciate that these have been further exacerbated by the impact of Covid-19,” adds Macsteel CEO Mike Benfield.
Macsteel has always focused on strengthening the position of SMEs in the steel industry and believes they are key drivers of commercial development and job creation.
“SMEs can be the backbone of any economy and the main driver of economic growth, with the potential to create and expand employment opportunities, develop entrepreneurial skills and enhance market opportunities,” notes Benfield.
Understanding the considerable strain placed on SMEs as a result of late payments, Macsteel has joined about 60 other large corporates to pledge their commitment to the B4SA campaign.
The primary objective of this initiative is to ensure the sustainability of SMEs and the employees they support, establishing a culture of early payment of SME invoices across the board.
There are plans to expand on the initiative to include a Payment Composite Index to report on progress and build a system of accountability.