Black Management Forum (BMF) held their annual update dinner amid great fanfare and glamour on Friday, 6 July 2012, with the cream of South Africa’s government and business leaders in attendance. The Mercedes-Benz group of companies in South Africa (MBSA) is a long-time sponsor of the Black Management Forum.
MBSA aligns itself with the Forum through its mutual belief in socio-economic transformation, and working towards inclusion of all population groups in the economic growth of the country. Transformation and empowerment of management in a corporate environment receives priority at both organisations.
The theme of the 2012 BMF dinner - sustainable growth through infrastructure development - is a topic of great interest to MBSA and the automotive industry. From a logistics point of view, motor manufacturing and marketing is heavily dependent on high quality infrastructure for its efficiency and global competitiveness.
Sharing the platform of the update dinner with President Jacob Zuma, MBSA CEO, Dr Martin Zimmermann, praised government’s centralised approach to infrastructure development as a catalyst for socio-economic transformation and job creation. He however voiced a concern that the Border Kei Region of the Eastern Cape, where MBSA has its manufacturing plant, has not benefitted as much as the logistics corridors identified in Gauteng, Port Elizabeth and Durban.
“We need to look well beyond the sum of individual projects to how we can improve the whole logistics infrastructure on a macro level – what is in fact the overall optimum for SA when it comes to connecting ports, roads and railroads”, Dr Zimmermann said. “It is our commitment to work with government and Transnet to ensure that this is happening,” he added.
The topic of integrity and ethical business practise received emphasis in the MBSA address to guests at the dinner as a key driver of sustainable growth. Dr Zimmermann shared the journey travelled by MBSA to ensure that business is conducted in an ethical manner into the future. “We have established a comprehensive system reaching from internal control processes to compliance monitoring and training. But above all, we invest strongly into setting the right tone from the top creating a dialogue about integrity and ethics,” he explained.
The final leg of Dr Zimmermann’s roadmap for socio-economic viability entails a partnership approach to revamping education and skills development in the country. “Job creation is impossible without an educated and well trained workforce. We need to join hands to create a common vision and find innovative solutions to education and skills development,” he concluded.