JOHANNESBURG - Public-Private Partnerships, or PPPs, have been a buzzword since 1999 when they were established under the Public Management Act (1999) and Treasury Regulation 16, governed under the Municipal Finance Management Act (2003) and Municipal Systems Act (2003), which form the legislation under which they now operate.
PPP’s are defined as fully commercial ventures into which public and private institutions enter not only for mutual benefit, but for the public good. They allow the government to spread the risks and responsibilities associated with delivering on their mandates with qualified partners in the relevant sectors in which the partnerships are entered into. They also allow the private entity and the government department involved to align their objectives to achieve their respective, but common goals.
In his speech following President Ramaphosa’s State of the Nation address, Economic Development Minister Ebrahim Patel outlined the four key areas which are addressed and stimulated by PPPs and these are transfer of skills, exposure to work, job creation and entrepreneurial activity. Since 1999 there have been many successful (and some not so much) PPPs in many sectors, and these include health, transport, education, tourism, IT, head office accommodation and even prisons, the Mangaung Correctional Services facility being such an example.
It is worth mentioning that the splendid, modern, light and highly functional Department of Trade and Industry campus in Pretoria was one of the first office accommodation PPP projects.
The Love Life project which worked so hard to promote the HIV/Aids prevention campaign, is another example, along with Sanparks’ concessions, which have created many new SMMEs and jobs in the tourism sector.
Perhaps the most ambitious and indeed largest infrastructure project in Africa delivered through a PPP is the Gautrain, a joy to use between our offices in Rosebank and OR Tambo International Airport. At our Buy Local Summit & Expo in 2017 a wonderful PPP between Nestlé South Africa and the Department of Small Business Development (DSBD) was conceived and this year's event saw the "birth" of the actual project.
An memorandum of understanding signed last year between Nestlé South Africa and Minister Lindiwe Zulu committed to the creation of a new Nestlé micro distributor network, with the DSBD committing to funding vehicles, initially for 50 SMMEs who would deliver Nestlé products to the townships and outlying areas which Nestlé own fleet does not reach.
On March 14, during this year's Buy Local Summit, we symbolically handed over the keys to five Nissan bakkies (also Proudly SA manufactured assembled vehicles) fully loaded with stock - the first of 39 vehicles to come online. The beneficiaries were already delivering to spaza shops and small outlets in their areas in unreliable vehicles with limited capacity, which meant they were consuming more petrol driving back and forth with small loads. Now they have fully insured bakkies, with tracking devices fitted and cash safes.
The partnership includes capacity building and training for the micro-distributors in critical skills, including financial management, warehouse management, asset maintenance, and up-skilling in sales and merchandising. These 39 recipients are the first in what is anticipated will be a total of 200 micro distributors by 2020. If each SMME employs just 3 people, 600 jobs will have been created.
This is truly an example of the very best of PPPs, where the commercial entity gets what their business needs (in this case a larger footprint in spazas and superettes in remote or inaccessible locations) and government gets to further its objectives of poverty alleviation, job creation and black economic empowerment.
You know by now that I love to think of a local song title that echoes the theme of the week. This week, it’s Ringo Madlingozi’s Masibambaneni Ngezandla - Let’s hold hands, as together we can achieve so much more! Remember, when you buy anything from the shelves of a large retail outlet or from a small corner shop, many jobs have been created in the production, packaging and finally the delivery of that item. Let's partner and buy local to create jobs!
Eustace Mashimbye is the chief executive of Proudly SA.
The views expressed here are not necessarily those of Independent Media.