Shell South Africa signs empowerment deal with Thebe

Feb 25, 2002 01:00 AM

Shell South Africa has taken its empowerment programme offshore by putting two South Africa suppliers in a position to bid for a deal to provide petrol pumps and service station forecourt lights to the multinational's entire global network. The transactions were potentially worth millions of dollars.
This was announced by Shell South Africa CE Errol Marshall in a briefing on empowerment, in which he also revealed that Shell had signed a long-awaited deal which would give empowerment group Thebe 25 % of the petroleum group's South Africa retail and marketing arm.
Marshall said that on top of the Thebe deal, Shell had achieved "startling success in the past few weeks" on procurement. An accord had been struck with Shell's global headquarters in London to allow suppliers from developing nations to tap into the multinational's global procurement operations.

An South Africa supplier of forecourt pumps and another company which could supply lighting for service stations had been identified, and would be bidding to supply Shell outlets around the world "including in the US and Europe". Marshall said that to date neither of the South Africa companies had an empowerment partner, but Shell was working on this.
The same model could be used for the procurement worldwide by Shell of other products, and could be extended to other emerging nations, such as Brazil and Thailand. "We hope to expand that," said Marshall. Marshall said it was fitting that Shell was reaching milestones in empowerment in the 100th anniversary year of its arrival in South Africa.

A new company, Shell South Africa Marketing, would be established in which Thebe would have a 25 % stake, in return for Tepco. Thebe would have one in four of the directors of the new retail group, and was charged with bringing entrepreneurial flair as well as empowerment to the deal.
"Buying into the oil industry is big money we have first dealt with the marketing side and once we and they are ready, we will look at the refining side," said Marshall. He said that the deal on marketing was in line with a charter signed by the oil companies and the government to secure 25 % empowerment throughout the South Africa oil industry.

Source: Business Day/All Africa Global Media
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