KwaZulu-Natal Premier Senzo Mchunu has assured emerging entrepreneurs that the provincial government will use public procurement to ensure their entry into the main economy.

Mchunu was speaking at the International Convention Centre today during the Procurement Indaba organized by provincial government, eThekwini Municipality and the International Labour Organisation.

“Given the strategic importance of entrepreneurship, a greater focus of this Indaba must be on assessing the economic impact this government is making on the emerging businesses in this province.”

“While we have made strides in fostering a culture of entrepreneurship as government, we are fully aware that more needs to be done to ensure that we distribute all government resources for the benefit of all our people.”

“It can’t be correct that few selected companies benefit from government’s procurement processes at the exclusion of many entrepreneurs who have the capacity to deliver. This is what we have to address – and address urgently. We say nobody should be excluded but there is an urgent need to create more opportunities for our people who have been previously excluded.”

“It is therefore important that senior managers in government understand that frustrating the aspirations of our people about the value and potential that our future holds, would have disastrous consequences for all of us.”

“I am sure all of you have seen in other parts of the world where there has been a total collapse of governments as a result of uprisings. Eroding the hope about the future of our province and our people may in the long term result in instability, which we can ill afford. This gathering brings hope to millions of our people and we must therefore emerge from here with a clear plan on how to ensure that procurement in public service is transformed for the benefit our people.”

“Critically, maladministration associated with procurement will be a source of anger and frustration for unemployed and poor people as this will give an impression that their plight will not be eradicated speedily as senior public servants are diverting the resources away from their intended goal of development, service delivery and creation of a better life for all.”

“As the provincial government we are constantly emphasizing the need to ensure that there is accountability on the performance of leadership charged with the responsibility of leading government departments and public entities.”

“We have established of a dedicated Infrastructure Co-ordination Workgroup to facilitate the speedy collective co-ordination of all Infrastructure Programmes and Projects in the Province. The Provincial Planning Commission has supported the Provincial Department of Public Works to establish this Work Group.”

“The core functions of this Workgroup are to ensure that all infrastructure planning in the Province is co-ordinated and to provide an institutional framework and mechanism for all delivery agents to participate in the development and implementation of a Provincial Integrated Infrastructure Development Plan.”

“This Workgroup is therefore intended to provide a platform for all national, provincial and key municipal infrastructure delivery agents to share information on and align long term infrastructure planning for the Province. The focus of this Work Group is on the co-ordination of all infrastructure development related to Airports, Harbours, Road, Rail, Electricity, Information and Communication Technologies, Water, Sanitation, Human Settlement, Health and Education.”

“It has a mandate of engaging with the developers of specialised agriculture, industrial, tourism, mining and commercial facilities, to ensure that infrastructure development in the province is undertaken in such a manner that it supports employment creation whilst building the provincial economy through SMMEs and Co-operatives.”