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Procurement can protect and strengthen core institutions in SA


A number of controversial topics were tackled at the 6th annual Western Cape Smart Procurement World conference in April. The conference, which boasted a number of high-profile speakers, created a strong interactive forum for representatives from the public and private sectors as well as various organisations.

“The consensus from speakers, delegates and the exhibitors at the co-located Enterprise & Supplier Development (ESD) Expo was that the conference was highly successful. We had 282 delegates but we don’t judge success by the physical number of attendees.

More importantly, we believe that audience participation is a clear and positive indicator of whether the topics are addressing issues that resonate with the delegates. The feedback from the delegates was that they thoroughly enjoyed the sessions and left with a number of valuable take-away lessons that they can apply in the workplace,” says Debbie Tagg, COO for Commerce Edge, the organisers of the event.

Taking centre stage amongst the more contentious topics was the one on real life lessons from the State Capture Project. Other focal areas that had delegates on the edge of their seats included how the various stakeholders can positon procurement to protect and strengthen core institutions from within South Africa; and the high-impact procurement innovations that will build public confidence and the resultant economic benefits at both national and provincial levels.

In the policy debate delegates learned that the revised PPPFA 2017 requires that 30% of government contracts be set aside to empower SMMEs through procurement processes.

However, the amended Construction Sector Codes has set out a new disqualifier for Built Environment professionals that only 50.1% of black ownership would count for business. The panel members discussed the likely impact of this adjustment and how feasible this actually is in the everyday businessenvironment. Furthermore they unpacked what the ripple effect and impact such a policy would have and whether policy makers focus more on ownership that they do on the impact of such policies.

Running alongside the conference was the Enterprise and Supplier Development Expo, an interactive showcase that allowed the participating 256 black-owned SMMEs to fast track their organisations through the focus on local economic development. Attracting a total attendance of 2 300 people, the event received accolades from a number of the participants.

“The exhibition was a first for me as a business owner. I was able to showcase my business to fellow entrepreneurs and the market in general. It was both enlightening and empowering on so many levels. My team and I will work on the multiple leads that were generated at the event and we are hoping to secure a few contracts as a result of these leads,” says Fatima Davids, Corpchem (sponsored by the Department of Economic Development & Tourism).

“The Supplier Matchup sessions were a huge success and continued for much longer than we anticipated because of the participation by both the exhibitors and the involved companies. In addition, the SMME pitching lunch (hosted and facilitated by City of Cape Town) where for vetted SMME, was extremely well attended.

The entire experience fostered lots of networking and the building up of important contacts,” says Tagg.

The event was supported by the City of Cape Town and Western Provincial Treasury and the event hosts and partners included Sun International/GrandWest Entertainment World, DTI Black Industrialists Programme, PPECB, BBF Safety, Commerce Edge South Africa, Department of Economic Development and Tourism.



Disclaimer - The views expressed here are not necessarily those of the BEE CHAMBER

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