Forklift distributor Masslift Africa has announced that its Level 1 broad-based black economic empowerment (BBBEE) accreditation will help to expand business for the company and its distribution of products.
Masslift Africa’s scorecard effectively assists customers in achieving its procurement spend targets with minimal cash outlay, which makes Masslift Africa “a great choice for companies”, given the current South African environment, says Masslift Africa CFO Thembi Mazibuko.
“Owing to our 71% black ownership, our customers are able to claim 270% of what they spend at Masslift towards their own procurement spend.”
She adds that Masslift is currently the only original-equipment manufacturer with a Level 1 rating, consequenlty providing the company with a competitive advantage.
Although Masslift has achieved a Level 1 rating, there is still work to be done in terms of management control, and skills development, for the company to be comfortable with its development and economic growth.
Masslift Africa will implement various strategies to ensure it plays its part in South Africa’s socioeconomic growth.
The first stategy is aimed at creating opportunities to address the socioeconomic conditions of previously disadvantaged communities.
“Our enterprise development programme assists majority black-owned businesses with funding for operational and/or working capital requirements,” says Mazibuko.
To date, two of Masslift Africa’s beneficiaries have managed to employ additional people, owing to the cash donations received from Masslift, she adds.
“This has resulted in job creation and also ensures the sustainability of the beneficiary’s business so that it can grow and employ additional people.”
Masslift Africa’s supplier development programme has also been a success and this year, Masslift will assist one of the beneficiaries to procure an additional truck to better service customers and create additional jobs.
The company aims to enhance the programme this year.
Masslift Africa aims to form closer working relationships with its beneficiaries and use social media and marketing platforms to highlight the beneficiaries’ businesses.
The company also wishes to enhance the programme by providing additional business support through advice and coaching as and when required on business policies, principles and strategic objectives.
Finally, by providing companies with access to Masslift Africa’s BBBEE consultants, Mazibuko explains, it will give companies “the tools to leverage their black ownership and position it as a value proposition to potential customers”.
“We will also continually assess whether there could be synergies between Masslift and the beneficiary that could result in the beneficiary ultimately being a supplier to Masslift on a regular basis,” she adds.
The second strategy is to provide employment opportunities through Masslift’s apprenticeship programme, which aims to support, upskill and qualify employees at all skills and educational levels, from novice apprentices to advanced qualified technicians.
“The programme runs for a maximum of four years and includes practical and theoretical components offered in designated trades to achieve artisan status,” says Mazibuko.
Providing relevant workplace exposure for apprentices enables them to learn how to inspect, repair and maintain engines, she adds.
This is achieved through four phases of training, with 80 practical weeks for on-the-job training and a two-day practical test, allowing the apprentices to formally qualify.
“This year, we are enhancing this programme to employ new apprentices on an annual basis and across our different branches in Durban and Cape Town,” says Mazibuko.
Masslift Africa also places a major focus on training and upskilling all its staff, especially employees from previously disadvantaged communities and this is the final aspect of the company’s strategy.
“Central to our company culture is the development of our staff and we have spent a sizable amount of money on financial assistance for those employees to study further giving them the opportunity to enhance their skills and capabilities,” says Mazibuko.
Masslift Africa has planned numerous in-house training programmes as well as many external programmes for employees.