Small Business Development Minister Lindiwe Zulu is confident that her department will become a catalyst for job creation in South Africa.
Addressing delegates at the Smart Procurement World Conference in the Western Cape earlier this month, the minister acknowledged that small and medium enterprises (SMEs) face daily challenges and repeated the call to big business to assist SMEs and entrepreneurs with access to finance, skills development and mentorship.
She applauded the enterprise supplier development component of the conference and said that it will boost the province’s SMEs.
Procurement needs growth
The effect of South Africa’s economic factors on procurement was examined by Chris Hart, Chief Economist at Investment Solutions.
Hart noted that South Africa suffers from declining fiscal flexibility: "While the country is nowhere near bankrupt the direction we are heading in is not encouraging."
Hart said that some "expenditure bombs" loom large on the country's horizon. "National health insurance, the public sector wage bill, the recently disclosed nuclear deal with Russia and government's support funding offered to parastatals affect the country's cash flow, income statement and balance sheet."
Boitumelo Mokgatle, Director of Internal Audit & Risk Management for The Presidency discussed the implementation of an effective procurement risk management plan through auditing, monitoring and evaluation of procurement risk.
Marcia Korsten, Chief Director of Public Policy Services for Western Cape Provincial Treasury discussed the link between procurement and the Western Cape’s economic outlook. Korsten presented figures describing the increasing contribution of the services sector to the Western Cape economy and how future growth is likely to be concentrated in the skills-intensive services industries.
Hart intrigued the crowd as he looked at the new regulations, particularly the New B-BBEE Codes of Good Practice and vividly showed the influence of these external factors on the procurement landscape.
Cape Conference attendance
The Cape conference is gaining momentum and receiving support from industry, government and sponsors.
More than 1,100 people passed through the exhibition halls, including:
- 383 Visitors
- 348 SMEs and exhibitors
- 232 Conference delegates
- 80 Conference speakers
The summit in general received more support from the industry, government and sponsors and almost tripled in size compared to the inauguration event a year ago.