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Calling all young entrepreneurs in Supply Chain:

SAAFF SMME DESK boosts national logistics transformation programs

by Tia

Supply Chain professionals from across the continent lauded the announcement this week by the Southern Africa Association of Freight Forwarders (SAAFF) of the launch of the SAAFF SMME Desk.

“This timely initiative by SAAFF is pivotal at this juncture, where capacity building, facilitated through technology, easy access to information and skills development programs, among others, stand out as crucial for Small, Medium, Micro Enterprises (SMMEs) to sustain and amplify their significant contributions to the national GDP.  The realisation of the country’s growth objectives hinges, to a considerable extent, on initiatives such as the SAAFF SMME Desk,” explains Dr Juanita Maree, Chief Executive Officer of SAAFF, adding that SMMEs account for at least 40% of South Africa’s Gross Domestic Product.

Dr Maree is recognised in the industry as a passionate, committed leader, advocate for inclusive economic participation in pursuit of more effective empowerment of SMMEs as key enablers of economic growth and job creation – catalytic forces fundamental for our nation’s advancement. 

The SAAFF SMME Desk program is specifically geared to empower, uplift and educate SMMEs, particularly those owned by women and young entrepreneurs operating in supply chain spheres. The program’s core objective is to cultivate excellence in the supply chain landscape by fostering compliant, effective SMME trade participation at broader and more efficient levels that would also facilitate their expansion towards international trade. 

“The SMME sector stands on the brink of significant growth, propelled by the transformative forces reshaping our nation and in response to the urgent need for deeper reforms to tackle the Supply Chain Logistics crises in South Africa,” continues Maree.

“Our new democratic dispensation is bolstered by a robust free market platform, regional and continental developments such as the AfCFTA and South Africa’s strong competitive position that amplifies our natural wealth and our reach. As we enter a new concessionary phase, Public and Private sector collaboration can surmount formidable challenges, and this requires a robust SMME sector. SAAFF’s SMME desk finds congruency with the SARS SMME Taxpayers, Travellers and Traders division.

“The Supply Chain lies at the heart of revitalising economic growth and SMME’s are a key catalyst toward achieving this aspirational objective. Collaboratively, we will regain the confidence of global investors to forge a path towards rebuilding our future” concludes Dr Maree.

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