MOST INFLUENTIAL WOMEN 2013/14
CASE IN POINT | CGCSA
Protecting Consumer's Rights
by Shalane van Rensburg
Mapule Ncanywa, General Manager of the Consumer Goods Council (CGCSA) is tasked with the management of operational aspects of the council and ensuring continual performance in all business areas namely human resources, operational finance, information technology, facilities, marketing and communications.
“My role ensures that as a member body, I assist the business in improving the quality of service we provide to our members and contain costs. I leveraged on abilities of new technologies and I am continuously on the lookout for talent to join CGCSA and to retain them. More importantly I am responsible for identifying and minimising the council’s exposure to financial and operational risks,” she explains. A career highlight for Mapule occurred when she was appointed the Vice
President of the International Alliance of Women, a prestigious United Nations affiliated organisation who evangelises the rights of women. The Consumer Goods Council of South Africa is a member based organisation representing over 11 000 companies in retail, wholesale and manufacturing of consumer goods.
GS1 South Africa
GS1 is an international not-for-profit association with member organisations in over 100 countries. GS1 is dedicated to the design and implementation of global standards and solutions to improve the efficiency and visibility of supply and demand chains globally and across sectors. The GS1 system of standards is the most widely used supply chain standards system in the world. GS1 together with its 108 member organisations globally, have been improving supply chain efficiency by successfully delivering global standards to over one million companies around the world for more than thirty years. Global standards dramatically increase data accuracy and speed by enabling the automation of the exchange of business documents between trading partners whether they are across the street or on another continent.
Today, global bar code standards guarantee that any product, pallet or case can be scanned and read in any country around the world. GS1’s goal is clearly aimed at the simplification of global commerce by connecting the flow of information with the flow of goods. The arrival of new technologies and the globalisation of commerce have created a new, unique opportunity to improve the efficiency of the global supply chain even further. CGSA recently conducted research that seeks to inform them of the size of their industry and its impact on the South African economy. “We are now in the process of partnering in projects that seeks to tap into the muscles of our members for the benefit of all within the supply chain,” she explains.
Another milestone includes the National Commissioner of Police’s agreement to engage with industry on mechanisms that industry adopt to mitigate business crime, one such initiative is the secure cash distributions system which is aimed at reducing the number of cash in transit (CIT) pick-ups at shopping malls which is usually when member’s stores are affected. “Our upcoming annual conference which will take place on 15 and 16 October, will bring all industry players together in one platform to showcase best practices reducing waste, sustaining business and where to expand business.” Whilst the retail results stunned everyone last quarter with above expected growth results, Mapule is hopeful that the remaining period will not be as slow to make up for the unexpected upward increase of the last quarter.
Food Safety Initiative
The CGCSA’ South African Food Safety Initiative (FSI) takes all reasonable steps to collaborate with stakeholders to ensure that food produced, distributed and marketed in South Africa meets the highest standards of food safety and nutrition and complies with legal requirements or recognised codes of good practice. “We are an industry initiative dedicated to protecting public health and consumer interests in the area of food safety and nutrition by relying on sound scientific evidence to guide decisions. These decisions are transparent and inclusive and we are accountable to all our stakeholders,” says Mapule.
Consumer Goods Industry Affairs (CGIA)
The Consumer Goods Industry Affairs (CGIA) unit aims to promote the industry’s understanding of the legislative and regulatory framework governing the fast moving consumer goods in South Africa. Within that framework, the unit advocates for systems, processes and principles that would enable trade to be better, faster, efficient and environmentally friendly. Non-competitive retail matters are also dealt with by the SA Retail Council, a division of CGIA.
Consumer Goods Risk Initiative (CGRI)
“We work hand-in-hand with our members to reduce crime by gathering non-competitive data, developing effective crime prevention strategies through communicating information, best practices and minimum standards in close liaison with the SAPS,” she says. “It is a challenging period... with yet another fuel increase looming and unrest in other sectors for salary increases, the remaining months just means tightening belts further. Understandably government is doing their best in retaining repo rates, it is encouraging for entrepreneurs and small businesses to be able to still loan from the banks,” she continues to say, “however with a 55% unemployed youth we desperately need to concentrate on plans to create new jobs. Most of the plans from government are long term as the National Youth Development Agency (NYDA) partnership with Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) over the next five years, aimed at entrepreneurship - but this is still long term.”
It is not all work and no rest for this wife and mother. She enjoys gardening and spending most of her time taking part in social initiatives, especially with underprivileged women. “Personal growth is something that one needs to guard selfishly in order to remain a relevant resource in today’s ever changing business world. At this stage in my life, I am chasing poverty eradication and economic emancipation of women especially those in the rural areas,” she humbly adds. A noticeable impact that the council has made includes the meat scandal which is still a fresh representative of the efforts they put in as an industry body to represent issues and advocate for their members practices. “By representing the scientific facts for what the current legislation was guiding, we were able to stand behind our members. The industry’s Ombudsman office is another one of the milestone we achieved this year.”