The Deputy Minister of Trade, Industry and Competition Ms 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 have 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,” said Gina following a recent engagement with the management of Clicks.

“We welcome the engagement with the department, and we would like to treat this as a journey to address short- and long-term issues relating to transformation,” said Clicks CEO Mr Vikesh Ramsunder after the engagement. 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.

The advert in question was of hair product TRESemme and originated from supplier Unilever. Clicks has since withdrawn the advert as well as the product and apologised while taking responsibility for the publication of the advertisement on its digital platform.  Gina said that the department is interested in localisation and transformation, noting that the department has developed a cosmetics sector strategy that retailers like Clicks can help advance.

Clicks currently has an Enterprise Development Programme and at the end of February this year had already invested R 65 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.

The Deputy Minister 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 noted that 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.

Ramsunder reiterated Clicks’s commitment to the local hair market, noting that Clicks has grown the local hair market by 4000 % 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 People with Disabilities in the Presidency to implement and monitor the agreement.

Issued by:The Department of Trade, Industry and Competition
Contact:                             Sidwell Medupe
Cell:                                    079 492 1774

Clicks Contact Person    Moliehi Molekoa
Cell:                                    082 751 0420

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