Clicks urged to accelerate transformation

Wednesday, September 16, 2020

Trade, Industry and Competition (DTIC) Deputy Minister, Nomalungelo Gina, has urged retailer Clicks to use the fallout from its recent controversial hair product advert for the good of the country by accelerating transformation in its business and value chain. 

“The advert was racist and offensive, and we acknowledge the corrective action that Clicks has since taken, but we have to ensure that something good comes out of it and use this opportunity to facilitate entry of local black players into the hair and beauty product market,” Gina said.

Gina made the remarks following a recent engagement with the management of Clicks. 

The advert in question is of hair product TRESemme and originated from the supplier, Unilever.

Clicks has since withdrawn the advert and the product. It apologised and took responsibility for the publication of the advertisement on its digital platform. 

The department is interested in localisation and transformation and has developed a cosmetics sector strategy, which retailers like Clicks can help advance, the Deputy Minister said. 

Clicks currently has an Enterprise Development Programme. At the end of February this year, it had already invested R65 million.

The programme covers parts of the business outside of the hair and beauty products, including the distribution side for both Clicks and United Pharmaceutical Distributors, which is also owned by the Clicks Group.  

Gina urged Clicks to invest more in the South African ethnic hair product market and to provide ongoing training for staff and suppliers and raise awareness on racism.

The department said it would not like to see any job losses in the Clicks value chain as a result of the withdrawal of TRESemme from its shelves. 

Clicks CEO Vikesh Ramsunder welcomed the engagement with the department, saying they would like to treat this as a journey to address short- and long-term issues relating to transformation.

Ramsunder noted the importance of a clear definition of roles and commitment of resources by both government and Clicks in order to help develop suppliers. 

He reiterated Clicks’s commitment to the local hair market, noting that Clicks has grown the local hair market by 4 000% since 2005.

Clicks will now work with an inter-ministerial team comprising the DTIC, Small Business Development, Labour, as well as the Department of Women Children and Persons with Disabilities in the Presidency to implement and monitor the agreement. –


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