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challenges, he noted. These include: • Invest SA, which was established as a facility that seeks to assist potential investors with the procedures required to meet regulatory requirements. • Conditions being imposed on recent merger transactions that will open up retail space in spaza shops to smaller producers. • Efforts of the Department of Science and Technology that are contributing to the international competitiveness of South African industrial innovation, including fuel cells, titanium powder, medical devices and composite materials. • Resources being re-prioritised for the Department of Small Business, including efforts to strengthen agencies that support small enterprises. • The CEO Initiative, which has established a new fund to support the expansion of small firms, providing support through mentorship and market access. • The business sector is also developing an internship programme to improve the job-readiness of young work seekers. “Some R17 billion worth of investment and 5 000 jobs have been unlocked in the oceans economy. Licences for oil and

Contracts are also being renegotiated with airlines, hotel

gas exploration have been issued as part of the sector growth

groups, software suppliers, pharmaceutical companies, prop-

strategy.

erty owners and construction firms. This aims to achieve sav-

“Active work by the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration has brought greater stability in the workplace this year,” he added.

Supply chain management

ings of R25 billion a year by 2018/19. The Minister said the eTender portal that was introduced in May 2015 has seen over R80 billion in tenders published, saving R650 million a year in printing and advertising costs. The Central Supplier Database, which was launched in Sep-

The Minister reiterated that supply chain management reforms

tember 2015, has significantly simplified procurement admin-

and transparency were important elements in achieving value

istration. More than 342 600 suppliers have already registered .

for money and combating corruption. He pointed out that in just over three years of existence, the

Financing higher education

Office of the Chief Procurement Officer has taken bold steps

As the Minister prepared to table the MTBPS, the country was

to modernise systems and combat abuses.

dealing with a nationwide student protest over university fees.

A Public Procurement Bill, that will strengthen accountability

After a brief meeting with protestors outside the Parliamen-

and oversight in supply chain management, while providing

tary precinct ahead of delivering the MTBPS, the Minister told

flexibility and promoting empowerment, small enterprise de-

the nation that the present phase of the country’s develop-

velopment and job creation, is being finalised.

ment, financing of education, had to be the highest priority.

In addition, the Preferential Procurement Regulations are

“We are especially mindful of the need to expand access to

being revised to ensure that at least 30 percent of govern-

post-school education opportunities. But this is not enough:

ment procurement goes to designated groups, including small

our progress rests on improvements in the entire education

and medium enterprises, cooperatives and rural and township

system.

enterprises.

Public Sector Manager • December 2016 / January 2017

“Minister [Blade] Nzimande has rightly emphasised >>

53

PSM December/January Edition 2016/2017  

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