OTRACO Southern Africa, a leader in off-the-road (OTR) tyre management solutions and a subsidiary of Bridgestone Southern Africa, has been accredited a B-BBEE Level 1 supplier. André Bode, OTRACO’s Managing Director, says that the accreditation is an important milestone in further enhancing the company’s ability to deliver specialist tyre management solutions to the mining and construction industries.
“We have always regarded transformation, and thus B-BBEE, as a business imperative because they will drive South Africa’s future economic growth—a view that is fully aligned with Bridgestone’s,” he says. “Our clients in the mining and other heavy industries are also themselves on a transformation journey, and their suppliers need to be in lockstep with them.”
Bode says that achieving the accreditation required a significant effort from his team. He explains that the accreditation was achieved on the back of a broad and comprehensive empowerment approach that includes ownership, management control, employment equity, skills development, preferential procurement and talent acquisition practices. The company also addresses socio-economic development in host communities via its corporate social investment (CSR) initiatives.
“We believe that any meaningful response to poverty, unemployment and inequality in South Africa must focus on leveraging supply chains to build, incubate and unleash local entrepreneurs in the areas where we operate,” he says. “We are focused on creating opportunities for qualified enterprises to join the economy, and on preparing vulnerable youth for work”.
For example, OTRACO has launched an enterprise supplier development in the Northern Cape. It identified two 100% black female-owned businesses in the traditionally male-dominated tyre and rim management industry on mines. These businesses have been provided with high-value opportunities, as well as the correct resources and support to enable them to fulfil the contracts, with the ultimate aim of creating wealth and employment opportunities in the Kathu and Postmasburg areas.
“Mining remains one of the foundational industries in South Africa, with the green energy transition going to require huge quantities of minerals. As the tyre and mobility solutions provider of choice for the South African mining industry, OTRACO is committed to supporting the industry holistically,” Bode concludes. “Our B-BBEE Level 1 accreditation is an important element of our alignment with mining’s transformation journey; it’s also an investment in our future.”