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Balance sheets never itemise the individual effort and dogged pride in performance that are necessary for growth in a largely stagnant economy. Our people also feel pride in the overall team; as showcased by the annual Bidvest Unity Walk.
This 10-kilometre charity walk is one of South Africa’s biggest mass participation events and occurs simultaneously in Johannesburg, Cape Town, Durban and Port Elizabeth.
Figures from Statistics South Africa for the June quarter show quarter-on-quarter contraction of 6,3% by manufacturing and 6,8% by mining, yet divisions like Electrical and Industrial still achieved growth. These operations are led by hands-on managers who stay close to developments. This ability to cut the frills and deliver is a key differentiator across all teams in Bidvest South Africa.
The B-BBEE environment has changed quite significantly.
These are well-established industries and many of our businesses are quite mature.
However, mature businesses are not stagnant businesses – at least, they are not at Bidvest.
Industries such as construction, manufacturing and mining experienced extremely difficult times. Within each division several independent businesses focus on specific customer groups. Our people are personally accountable for contracts, relationships and outcomes. In tough times, customers look for service providers who deliver solutions that fit their needs, who do not waste time, and who get the job done.
This change is exacerbated by the divergent views in the public sector on how to achieve these objectives.
Further complexities are presented by the additional requests of various stakeholders – this, in an attempt to meet their own B-BBEE requirements and commercial objectives.
At a time when job cuts were rife in many industries, we did all we could to grow or save jobs and our headcount fell slightly through contracts that ended.
Though staffing varied in line with contract fluctuations, we engaged in no significant retrenchments.
Bidvest will continue to support and drive the transformation agenda just as aggressively as we have in the past.