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Competition Commission approves important courier industry acquisition



The announcement ensures the retention of jobs and increases access to deliveries in regional and rural areas

The Competition Commission has approved the acquisition of Fast+Furious by DPD Laser. The announcement is big news in an industry rapidly consolidating to cope with the demands of South African e-commerce due to the pandemic and its ongoing lockdowns. Most importantly, the acquisition is a key signal that, while South Africa may be struggling with record unemployment, some sectors are growing beyond expectation to satisfy the demands of new digitally driven markets and South Africa’s awakening to the Fourth Industrial Revolution. The acquisition is expected to notably increase DPD Laser’s presence and influence in the express distribution market. 

DPD Laser’s majority shareholder, the DPDgroup, operates in 49 countries worldwide and has been a lead player in the European distribution market for many years largely as a consequence of its specialisation and innovation in the e-Commerce market. Benjamin Demogé, Executive Vice President at DPDgroup, emphasises, “The e-commerce boom has fast tracked market development in Europe by 3 to 4 years, accelerating the shift from BtoB to BtoC and sets the stage for a future centered around the consumer. This shift is not limited to Europe or developed markets and we expect the same in South Africa. Hence our support of the acquisition of Fast+Furious and DPDgroup’s further investment.” 

The acquisition augments DPD Laser’s network and resources and the company now employs over 1500 people and has a dedicated fleet across the country.  Anton Visagie, DPD Laser’s CEO explains, “Network expansion is necessary to support the increased scale of business and we are actively opening new branches and hubs in more towns and districts across the country.  And now that the transaction is officially concluded we will be activating the consolidation of our larger branches and moving to bigger and purpose built distribution facilities in all of Johannesburg, Cape Town, Pretoria and Durban. This is an important step for us as we will rapidly increase efficiencies whilst substantially enhancing our productivity and quality of service.”

Both DPD Laser and Fast+Furious have had some notable success in securing new customers in recent months. Jason Lombard, DPD Laser COO, notes, “Both our businesses did really well prior to the acquisition. And, with this in mind, our single-minded focus as we come together is the successful integration of the two businesses, uninterrupted customer experience and ease of doing business. This really matters in the evolving online space and we are absolutely committed to retaining or enhancing service to all our customers.  This means the roll-out of one brand in the coming months, the uniting of two winning cultures of execution and performance into one, and the expansion from 15 branches to more than 25 nationally.”

Anton Visagie adds, “We have made good use of the time that passed while we waited for the Competition Commission approval. Planning the IT integration of both systems to ensure faster and more efficient collection and delivery processes as well as identifying more regional or remote areas where future representation is necessary.” Philip Hayes, Director of DPD Laser and CEO of The Laser Group is more philosophical about the transaction announcement: “What I find so exciting about this announcement is that it signals further prosperity for South Africa and its businesses and people.  A further investment from a major European business, further consolidation in a market that is desperately trying to cope with a buoyant and growing online retail marketplace, the saving of jobs and inevitably the creation of more jobs in the near future. Is this not exactly what we need in this country right now? Without this international interest, and without embracing these new markets and adapting to them, we will stagnate, and that is not an option for our country.  Laser’s partnering with DPDgroup over the last 15 years has illustrated what can be achieved if local business inspires outside investors to continue their contribution to the growth of our amazing country and its people,” he concludes.

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New CIPS Southern Africa General Manager focusses on more educational opportunities for all as she takes on new challenges for the procurement and supply profession



Pretoria, 2 December 2021  – The Chartered Institute of Procurement & Supply (CIPS) has appointed Dr Sara Bux as General Manager of Southern Africa. This is a critical appointment as the procurement profession continues to grow in the region and more individuals and organisations are seeking training and qualifications in procurement and supply.

Dr Bux, who most recently served as Director —Southern Africa at the Association of International Certified Professional Accountants has over 30 years’ experience in the education sector.

Dr Bux possesses a high level of understanding of the regulatory education environment and networks across Southern Africa, with board-level experience. She has a passion for educational transformation, particularly within Southern Africa and support for the procurement and supply profession. Her qualifications include a Master of Arts (MA) in South African Literature, a Masters in Business Administration (MBA) and a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Business Management Entrepreneurship.

Group Chief Executive Officer of CIPS, Malcolm Harrison commented, “I am delighted Sara is joining the CIPS team with her background in education, her high level of understanding of the regulatory frameworks and her strong networks in Southern Africa; she will be a real asset.

“Her energy and enthusiasm will build on the ongoing success of CIPS and I’m looking forward to working with her to create more opportunities for members and aspiring professionals to develop their skills and qualifications allowing them to create the resilient supply chains of the future.”Dr Sara Bux said of her appointment: “I am a firm believer in dignity, equality, freedom, diversity and inclusion for all, and I hope to bring these qualities into my role for CIPS.“I have a strong passion for education and especially, access to the right kind of education that will enable individuals to constructively participate in and contribute to the local and global economy and to society as a whole.”

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Winners of the 4th Annual Absa Business Day Supplier Development Awards announced.



19 November 2021: The winners of the 4th Annual Absa Business Day Supplier Development Awards, in partnership with Arena Holdings, Fetola and Cold Press Media, were announced at a hybrid event held at The Empire Conference and Events Venue in Johannesburg on Thursday, 18 November 2021.

This awards programme recognises companies who are making significant strides in terms of their supplier development initiatives by acknowledging those who go beyond the scorecard, fostering learning, showcasing best practice and encouraging intersectoral collaboration to create scale and impact.

“At Absa we are particularly pleased that since their launch in 2018, the Supplier Development Awards have grown significantly – in their importance, number of participants and, more importantly, their impact. The Awards have truly come of age and continue to mature each and every year. It is critical now more than ever for corporates in both the public and private sectors to use their supply chains to help develop and grow small suppliers, who are the real drivers of economic growth and job creation” says Vusi Fele, Chief Procurement Officer at Absa Group. 

“The increased interest from companies wanting to be part of the learning ecosystem and the high quality of this year’s finalists, indicates that supplier development is becoming recognised as a valuable strategic lever to drive inclusive growth”, says Catherine Wijnberg, CEO of Fetola, founding partner and technical lead of the Absa Business Day Supplier Development Awards.

The 2021 results are audited by BDO South Africa, and the winners are as follows: 


Winner: Uyandiswa Project Management Services


Winner: V&A Waterfront

YOUTH FOCUS AWARD sponsored by Absa

Winner: Anglo American Zimele

WOMEN FOCUS AWARD sponsored by Cold Press Media

Winner: Empact Group


Winner: SPAR


Winner: Exxaro Resources


Winner: Empact Group

COLLABORATION AWARD sponsored by Fetola

Winner: Tiger Brands


Winner: Distell

IMPACT AWARD sponsored by Business Day

Winner: Anglo American Zimele


Winner: Stellar Agri nominated by Distell


Winner: MB Resources nominated by Exxaro Resources

For the first time since inception, the Absa Business Day Supplier Development Awards has been extended to include nominations from Sub-Saharan Africa.  We believe that this will inspire African companies to join the Supplier Development ecosystem and participate in the awards in future.

Judges African Commendation for Commitment to Economic Empowerment across the Supply Chain

Winner: Debswana (Botswana)

Judges African Commendation for Commitment to Women Inclusion in the Supply Chain

Winner: Safaricom (Kenya)

Judges African Commendation for Commitment to Localisation of the Supply Chain

Winner: Tullow Oil (Ghana)

Judges African Commendation for Commitment to Pioneering Supplier Development

Winner: Vodacom (Mozambique)

OVERALL WINNER sponsored by Absa

Winner: Tiger Brands

Thank you to the main sponsor Absa, our category sponsors, as well as this year’s judges and advisory panel. Congratulations to all of the 2021 finalists and winners.

For more information visit  

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Precision delivery key to Unitrans Africa’s mining-sector success



Unitrans Africa’s (UA) proven mining-sector material handling capability is laying the foundation for a bright future characterised by unique innovation in critical areas of the company’s operations.

Electric vehicles and real-time stockpile management and reporting are but two examples of Unitrans Africa’s bold, long-term vision. But none of these ideas would have even made it to the drawing board had it not been for the company’s trusted reputation when it comes to on-mine material handling and mine-to-port capabilities – painstakingly built across the continent over many decades.

“Unitrans Africa is truly demonstrating our purpose of Accelerating Africa’s Growth with the current mining projects and partnerships we currently have in place,” says Unitrans CEO, Rob Hayworth, who believes that the company now has the springboard to recreate, throughout Africa, the success of current operations, which are accredited according to the highest available safety standards, including the International Organisation for Standardisation (ISO), Occupational Health, Safety and Security (OHSAS), Safety and Quality Assessment System (SQAS) and Road Transport Management System (RTMS).

“Our solutions have a positive impact on the regions we operate in and with the partners we are involved with, especially when it comes to utilising local labour and reducing the total project emissions via the use of road trains,” he adds.

Road trains have the unique ability to each handle up to 140 tons of payload, while at the same time increasing safety standards and decreasing environmental impact. The latter is achieved through reduced emissions on a net project basis due to a reduction in the required fleet size.

It’s for these reasons that road trains occupy pole position in Unitrans Africa’s bold take on the future – one that is possible thanks to the company’s proven end-to-end capabilities. “Our ‘mine-to-port’ capability is a major strength and this is where our immediate focus has been” says Hayworth. “We’ve been able to set a stake in the ground and are now looking to build on these strengths, as the largest operator of road trains in Africa.”

“We are in the final stages of research into a number of innovative offerings including electric mining vehicles, which will be revealed soon,” he adds.

Unitrans Africa’s extensive footprint in sub-Saharan Africa includes countries such as Namibia, Botswana, Zambia, Mozambique, Malawi, Lesotho, Tanzania and Madagascar. This presence already makes the company one of the largest material handling, distribution and logistics operations on the continent, which Hayworth ascribes to an unwavering focus on precision delivery.

“Our exacting standards, high quality, performance track records and continuous improvement all translate into a gold standard when it comes to service delivery,” he says. “When it comes to mining, this is reflected in Unitrans’s custom designed vehicles and engineered equipment, handling of dangerous goods, superb delivery, and cost efficiency, amongst other things.”

As an example of this precision delivery accelerating Africa’s growth, Hayworth points to the successful kickstarting of their Botswanan copper operations, which have demonstrated positive economic and environmental effects. Job growth has increased locally, GDP has grown across the SADC region as a whole, and copper has contributed to a reduction in carbon emissions due to its use in electric vehicles.

“We now have proven copper handling capabilities, which we can use as a launchpad into similar operations in the likes of DRC, Zambia and Namibia in the future,” says Hayworth.

A future which, if Unitrans Africa’s track record is anything to go by, looks bright indeed.

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