The overwhelming support for the first South African Freight Awards is a clear demonstration of the need to support, recognise and celebrate excellence in the industry. This is according to Florence Musundwa, CEO of GrowSupplierZA and organiser of the inaugural Awards, which took place on 15 October at Sun International’s Maslow Hotel in Sandton, Johannesburg. Individuals from across the country were recognised, rewarded and celebrated for their contributions to the road freight industry.
Musundwa explains: “The Awards were founded with two key objectives: firstly, to assist in the continuous quality improvement of emerging and qualifying enterprises and suppliers, enabling them to build businesses that last. And secondly, to foster collaboration in support of the growth of empowering black entrepreneurs through a curated ecosystem platform that enables public and private stakeholders to exchange knowledge and best practice.”
Awards were presented in four categories:
Youth Achiever Award
Special Industry Recognition Award
Special Industry Recognition Award: Enterprise Supplier Development Programme
Excellent Achiever Award in Freight
Supporting women and youth
Commenting on their decision to support the Awards, sponsor Mamoja Trading & Projects’ Founder and Manging Director Annah Ngxeketo said: “We decided to sponsor so that resources can assist in ensuring that women and youth attain opportunities in the logistics and transport Industry. This reminds me of what South African religious leader, social and political activist, Charlotte Maxeke, taught us: that ‘This work is not for yourselves. Kill that spirit of self and do not live above your people but live with them, and if you can rise, bring someone with you’”.
Catalyst for change
“As an organisation, we believe in supporting initiatives where our support can act as a catalyst for transformation in industries that have traditionally been untransformed – such as the transport and freight industry,” said venue sponsor Sun International’s Mpho Moshotle, Group Supplier Development Manager. “Sun International sponsored the event as part of our Enterprise and Development strategy. In addition to that, the event was organised and coordinated by an effervescent and passionate black woman with a clear vision on how this event will foster greater collaboration between black owned freight companies, as well as between both the public and private sectors. As an organisation, we are on a journey to increase our procurement and E&SD support for black woman owned businesses. These two factors made it a ‘no brainer for us’ to support the Awards and we hope to be a part of the growth of the awards in the years to come.”
Relevant and Important
“There is a need to recognise excellence in the road freight sector,” added Oliver Naidoo, Managing Director of JC Auditors. “Our vision is to promote safety and compliance and efficiency to ensure that our supply chain and economy is able to compete with the best, helps to stimulate transport and play a key role in driving the road freight sector forward,” he said. “We are proud to support stakeholders who want to elevate the road freight sector.”
Inspiration and new beginnings
“These awards are important and relevant: a lot of SMMEs in South Africa have lost hope because of the COVID-19 effects and status quo,” added Mamoja’s Annah Ngxeketo. “The SA Freight Awards symbolise the beginning of a new journey, that is deliberate and intentional in propelling hope, prosperity, partnerships, perseverance and gender transformation in the industry”.
Mark Makhubela, CEO of MLM Logistics added: “Truck operators have faced tremendous challenges over the past few years: the Covid-19 pandemic, fuel price increases, other price hikes, unrest, floods – and lots more. The SA Freight Awards are an opportunity for us to recognise the unsung heroes – those who have gone above and beyond during these times, and who are thriving in our disruptive world.”
The Awards were supported by the Department of Transport, the Department of Small Business Development, the Transport Sector Retirement Fund, the Transport Education and Training Authority (TETA), MLM Logistics, Sun International, JC Auditors, Mamoja Trading & Projects and the Truckers Association of South Africa, (TASA).
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