Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba
JOHANNESBURG - Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba said yesterday the government was strengthening policies for public procurement in a bid to support black economic empowerment, industrialisation and the development of small businesses. 

Delivering his Budget speech in Parliament,Gigaba said public procurement - worth hundreds of billions of rand annually - was a critical lever to change the production and ownership patterns of the economy to empower black people, women and youth. 

He said National Treasury would submit the Public Procurement Bill to cabinet next month so it could be gazetted for public comment. “It will further enable government to use public procurement strategically to advance transformation, achieve efficiencies and improve governance,” he said. 

“Treasury will increase collaboration with all law enforcement agencies to strengthen efforts to fight fraud, corruption and the abuse of supply-chain management system across all spheres of government in order to restore the integrity of supply chain management. 

The director-general of National Treasury will issue a directive to all government departments to pay their suppliers in 30 days, or risk being charged for financial misconduct In future, deviations will be allowed only in rare, well-justified cases,” Gigaba said. 

- African News Agency (ANA)