South African Airways has promised to increase sourcing from businesses owned by black people, women, disabled people and young people.
The airline has signed an agreement with the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) to develop inclusive supplier sourcing and procurement.
It will lead a new three-year programme that aims to source up to 50 per cent of all consumable supplies from what it terms “empowered enterprises” by the end of 2018. The airline plans to seek out new potential suppliers and provide training and development through regular seminars around South Africa with the DTI.
SAA chairwoman Duduzile Myeni said: "While SAA will continue to derive value from competitive procurement, we are in the business of empowering entrepreneurs from disadvantaged backgrounds and levelling the playing field."
Deputy minister of trade and industry Mzwandile Masina said all South African companies had the responsibility to provide opportunities for businesses owned by black people "in order to overcome the historically embedded barriers to entry that define the market mechanisms of our economy".
"The government and all public institutions must creatively utilise their public procurement capabilities to leverage the emergence and support for this entrepreneurial class of black industrialists," he added.
According to a 2013 study by Oxford Economics, the SAA Group's supply chain supports 16,400 jobs.