The Northern Cape Provincial Government under the leadership of the Department of Economic Development and Tourism (DEDaT) hosted a two- day SMME Procurement Indaba from 28-29 November 2016 at the Mittah Seperepere Convention Centre in Kimberley. People travelled from different districts across the province to attend the event. The Indaba saw stakeholder representatives deliver presentations, dealing with a variety of issues, across a variety of sectors, with the view of sharing ideas, empowering businesses, creating jobs and so contributing to economic growth of the Northern Cape.
MEC for Finance Economic Development and Tourism Mr M. Jack delivered the key note address on behalf of the Minster of Small Business Development, Ms Lindiwe Zulu who was unable to attend the event. MEC Mack Jack explained that the government needed to find a way of opening up business to small enterprises by setting aside at least 30% procurement for SMME’s. These SMME’s are seen to be the engine to drive economic growth and development, as well as lead to the creation of decent employment. “In the case of South Africa the SMME sector could be a notable conduit for the elimination of the triple challenges that today bedevil the democratic dispensation, and in citing the National Development Plan, this offers a long-term planning perspective for South Africa.
He said the Indaba would help to look into the issue of local procurement, the simplification of regulations of the red tape, access to finance and also look into small business support and skills gaps businesses may have. He further said “what we want to achieve is sustainable participation of black people on procurement opportunities provided by the government, the private sector discussing the possibility of linking procurement to the government’s strategy for revitalisation of township economy and to attain stakeholder’s commitments to procurement targets of government.” MEC Mack jack also further urged the private sector companies to come on board and contribute to the economic growth of the province.
MEC Mac Jack mentioned several resolutions that he would to like to see take place with regard to the growth and development of SMME’s in the Province:
- The adoption of the position on localisation and ring fencing of key sectors.
- Stakeholder’s commitment on public procurement set targets.
- Stakeholder commitment on private procurement sector targets.
- Commitment on integrated procurement system.
- Identification of aspects of procurement policy obstructing transformation.
- A clear communication approach amongst stakeholders.
- Restructuring of administration burden of SMME’s.
- Specification of tender criteria to be reviewed.
The Indaba provided a platform for stakeholders to engage constructively on the key procurement and transformation challenges and provide solutions that will give rise to real economic transformation in the province. It is clear from the resolutions taken that the Northern Cape is serious about maximising opportunities for SMME’s and so enabling the much needed growth and development in the sector.