Durban - FINANCE MEC Nomusa Dube-Ncube has called for the provincial government to make procurement services accessible so that the people can benefit from the allocated provincial budget of R133 billion.
Dube-Ncube spoke on Tuesday during the KwaZulu-Natal Public Sector Procurement Forum, co-ordinated by Brand South Africa and Proudly South African.
She said the event was a collective outline for a programme of action on how to use public and private procurement to rebuild and transform the economy while benefiting ordinary people.
According to Dube-Ncube, the provincial Treasury was determined to improve procurement spend through the roll-out of the Economic Reconstruction and Transformation Plan. She identified and presented key strategic areas in which her department plans to make an immediate impact. These included:
- The creation of employment through unleashing agricultural potential.
- Enhancing industrial development through investment into the key productive sectors of reviving the manufacturing sector, agricultural sectors tourism, informal economy and SMEEs and co-operatives, telecommunications and digital economy, oceans economy, the green economy and renewable economy, transport and logistics, and service sectors.
- The expansion of government-led job creation programmes.
- Promoting SMMEs and Co-operatives and entrepreneurial development, and promoting innovation and localisation.
On job creation, food security and building the economy to defeat poverty, Dube-Ncube said social infrastructure was one of the powerful strategies her department should pay attention to.
"The strategy involves the programme of improving economic infrastructure, including the construction of schools, public health facilities, roads and other social infrastructure.“
On manufacturing initiatives, she said that the provincial government would enhance industrial development, construction and manufacturing.
“These are fundamental to the creation of employment, economic growth and development within the province.”
Dube-Ncube said that the key provincial strategic assets to be the catalysts of manufacturing and industrial development had already attracted massive investment from big role-players.
“Durban and Richards Bays ports, the Richards Bay IDZ, the Dube Trade Port, new Clothing and Textile SEZ and Automotive Supplier Park which, already before it could start, has attracted billions of investments from industry players such as Toyota.”
The largest portions of the infrastructure budget (inclusive of both Equitable Share and Conditional Grant funding) went to the departments of Transport (R7.96bn), Education (R2.59bn) and Health (R2.01bn).
With an allocation of R11.644bn, the Department of Transport was embarking on construction and maintenance projects in which women and youth-owned companies stood to benefit.
Dube-Ncube expressed her concerns with delays in payment to contractors who rendered services to the government.
"Among the causes of the high failure of emerging businesses is the failure of government departments to pay on time. The inability of government departments and some municipalities to pay on time is something we are addressing."