11 September 2020
The Clicks Group, Owners of Clicks stores, and United Pharmaceutical Distributors (UPD) have committed to increase spending on Small, Micro and Medium Enterprises (SMMEs) and their support for local beauty, hair care brands and other products. The undertaking was made by Clicks Group CEO Vikesh Ramsunder at a meeting held with the Minister of Small Business Development, Ms Khumbudzo Ntshavheni, a senior delegation from her department, representatives from the Small Enterprise Development Agency (Seda), as well as the Small Enterprise Finance Agency (Sefa).
The meeting follows the publication of a racially offensive advert for a hair product by TRESemme on Clicks’ digital platforms. “I am humbled and encouraged by our interaction with the Honourable Minister as I believe that we can jointly find a constructive solution to this regrettable incident” said Ramsunder, who reiterated the Clicks Group’s apology to the Minister, noting that the material was “insensitive” and left him devastated.
The material originated from the supplier Unilever, the makers of TRESemme. The product has since been removed from Clicks shelves. Clicks said it will now use the shelf space created by the removal of TRESemme to support more local brands. Clicks preferential procurement spend currently stands at 50,2 % and in 2019 spending on suppliers stood at R 26,7 billion. Clicks has also committed to involve their supplier base to mentor SMMEs across the company’s value chain.
Minister Ntshavheni noted that this preferential procurement spend includes spending on large, established but not fully empowered companies and does not add to building an inclusive economy. The Minister further said her department will assist Clicks to focus on SMMEs which are owned by black women, the youth and people with disabilities. She said she wanted the Clicks Group to contribute to the localization drive of government by placing more South African products on their shelves. Minister Ntshavheni committed her department and agencies to assist SMMEs, with potential to supply to the Clicks Group, with compliance to product quality, safety standards and regulatory requirements including assistance to upscale their manufacturing capacity.
The Department of Small Business Development and Clicks Group have put in place a working team to finalise the implementation plan and monitor the progress on specific focus areas. The focus areas include both short, medium and long term measures.
Moira Mogomotsi on 082 749 1558
Moliehi Molekoa on 082 751 0420,
mail: Moliehi.email@example.com on behalf of Clicks Group