In memoriam of Reuben Badana

Johannesburg, 14 Feb 2013
Read time 3min 40sec

Last week, the business and IT world learned of the sad passing of Reuben Badana - a doyen in the supply chain management industry and a pillar of the SAPICS community. Sadly, Badana succumbed to a longstanding battle with illness.

Badana was closely involved with SAPICS - The Association for Operations Management of Southern Africa - for over 20 years. He held a variety of posts within the organisation, including president, director and member - all of which he carried out with tremendous passion and commitment. Badana encouraged and supported SAPICS' vision of building a vibrant and educated network of supply chain professionals in South Africa.

"Reuben was instrumental in influencing a change of demographics in what was once a senior, white, male-dominated organisation," says SAPICS co-Director and ex-President Tracy Cheetham. "He was an inspiration to many, never having a bad word to say about anyone, and always with a positive outlook and a bright and engaging smile. He will be missed."

Meryl Malcomess, Marketing Director of SYSPRO, remembers Badana since her early days of first joining the industry: "At heart he was always an educator and a man who believed in optimising manufacturing in South Africa, so that more time and money could be invested in educating the workers on the factory floor." Badana used the SAPICS education curriculum as a vehicle to achieve his dreams. He was first appointed SAPICS president in 2010.

"I remember clearly how he turned to me for assistance in perfecting his opening speech as president," recalls Malcomess. "He was finding the task quite daunting as the occasion commonly attracted scientists, engineers, MBAs, professors, CEOs and production managers from all over the world. It truly was an emotional hour to hear him present, recollecting his humble beginnings as an office clerk at a large Johannesburg firm."

Badana joined Oracle in 2006 as a supply chain specialist. He continued teaching a variety of SAPICS courses, and acted as chairperson for Tirisano Ka Batho Consulting (TKB). His academic accomplishments included certification as a Supply Chain Professional (CSCP) and at a fellow level CFPIM, a BA degree in Logistics Management, a National Diploma in Organisation and Work-Study, and an Advanced Management Programme certificate from WBS.

As an instructor, Badana helped to educate hundreds of supply chain professionals. One such professional was long-time colleague, Tonya Lamb.

"I first met Reuben when I joined SAPICS in 1996. Reuben at the time was a board member and lecturer; he was always available to assist me with the many queries and questions I had," says Lamb. "The following year, I decided to study the Basics of Supply Chain Management course, and Reuben was my lecturer. I had no prior knowledge on the subject so it was a huge challenge for me. Reuben mentored me, coached me and always believed I would make it. He even came in on Saturdays to help me with difficult formulas. On the morning of the exam, he phoned to offer support, and was probably even happier than me when learning I had passed!"

Badana was a much loved member of the supply chain community; passionate, dedicated and driven.

"He would never give up on anyone and was available any time, day or night, for any queries his students may have had. Many people owe their careers to Reuben. He was a special colleague and friend and I will miss him dearly," says Lamb.

Badana's most recent re-election as a SAPICS director was based on his motivation to act as an ambassador and board advisor for the organisation. His wish was to educate the many companies and people unaware of SAPICS and how they could assist them in achieving their organisational goals. He was truly dedicated to the industry and the organisation.

Our thoughts go out to Badana's wife, children, family and friends. The supply chain community has lost a great friend, teacher, mentor and role model, and the world has lost a true gentleman and pioneer.

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Syspro Sarah Futter
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