Smart minds converge at the Procurement Indaba

smart-procurement-indaba

State Owned Companies (SOCs) supply chain managers and the small business fraternity recently gathered at the 2016 Annual Smart Procurement World Indaba held at Gallagher Estate in Johannesburg. Marking its 10th year, the conference has continued to attract procurement practitioners, corporate representatives and small business owners over the years. Many attend the event to trace new trends and share knowledge while others come to rub shoulders with peers and showcase their products and ESD programmes.

Linked to the conference, is the Absa Enterprise and Supplier Development Expo which aims to support the business case for Enterprise and Supplier Development initiatives in South Africa.

The Smart Procurement World Indaba could not have been more timely as South Africa faces challenging times and a dwindling economy. “Empowering small businesses, particularly black SMEs, is essential if we are to transform and grow the economy,” said Debbie Tagg, the COO of Smart Procurement.

Also in attendance were representatives from Proudly SA, Chartered Institute of Procurement and Supply Africa, (CIPS Africa), South African Supplier Diversity Council (SASDC), Investing in Women Entrepreneurs (INWEGO), ABSA, Deloitte, Entrepreneurs, Gauteng Treasury and industry stakeholders.

The event organisers also arranged a round table setup for the media, where, well known radio personality Victor Kgomoeswana facilitated a number of discussion points. These included challenges faced by small businesses when trying to do business with government and big business, preferential procurement legislation and ESD shortfalls. Representatives from various companies tabled suggestions and mechanisms they employ to make the lives of small business much easier.

“We believe SMEs face multiple constraints to growth and we need to be holistic when we provide Enterprise Development Solutions hence we provide access to market, specialist incubation and access to finance. We manage R650 Million of Enterprise and Supplier Development capital”, said Edge Growth Director Stuart Townsend.

Asked about the obstacles created by the Preferential Procurement Policy Framework Act (PPPFA) against black business growth, the Group Supply Chain Executive for the Denel Group Mandla Mlambo said, “It’s an issue we have engaged Treasury over for many years. It’s a piece of legislation that prevents government from implementing its transformation agenda.”

The banking sector was also represented and Barclays reaffirmed its commitment to assist small businesses “We recognise the importance of us being at the centre of cash flow. Effectively, the one problem we are trying to solve is providing access to finance. We are a bank we understand risk management. We help emerging SMEs access capital, access markets.” said Keaobaka Mahuma, the Head of Enterprise & Supply Chain Development (Africa) at Barclays.

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