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Future pipelines: retailers, suppliers and leadership

Our efforts to attract and support new black retailers in South Africa continue.

We engaged, inter alia, with the Public Investment Corporation this year to assist with the funding of black retailers. A similar engagement with the Masisizane Fund – an Old Mutual initiative in the form of a non-profit funding company that provides loan financing and support to small, medium and micro enterprises (SMMEs) – is also showing great promise. These funds can provide much needed assistance to new black retailers as well as our emerging farmer partners. We have funded a number of black retailers at prime minus 4% when acquiring stores.

Our flagship emerging farmer development business is delivering much-needed income, employment and other opportunities for individuals, communities and our supply chain. We are encouraged by the progress, uptake and positive response to these efforts, and believe that businesses such as this offer a positive and sustainable solution to some of South Africa’s most pressing challenges.

Given the challenges in SPAR’s operating environments, it is important that our employees can deliver on the value proposition for our retailers. To this end, we strive to develop leaders and a workforce that can deliver excellent service. Ours is a lean business model – we empower employees to ensure that the decision-making process happens at the right level to free up senior management to deal with strategic issues.