Department’s Forum benefits young entrepreneur

Monday, 11 June 2012

Before this weekend, a 20-year old female young entrepreneur, Ms. Nokuthula Mahlangu from Emalahleni knew less about the Preferential Procurement Regulations.

As a result, her determination to be a successful entrepreneur and to lay her hand of countless business opportunities seemed farfetched until she participated in the recent provincial supplier forum in Witbank last week.

She realised that access to vital information on public procurement and business opportunities is the greatest weapon through which she can achieve her business aspirations.

“I registered my company four years ago. At the time I did not have the much needed and useful information to take the business to the next level.

“As a result the company started to be functional this year, said a determined young entrepreneur, Nokuthula Mahlangu.

Mahlangu said lack of information, especially on public procurement policies, made it difficult for her to make her business to take off as speedily as she would have wanted.

There has been noticeable concern about suppliers not furnishing all the required information as part of their bidding documents for services, work and goods.

As a result the department of Finance held a suppliers forum session in Emalahleni to address this challenge. The ultimate aim of the sessions that will be held throughout the province is to help speed up all inclusive public procurement process in the province.

It is seven month now since the new preferential procurement regulations came into effect on 07 December 2011. The regulations are the practical ‘how to’ guidelines for the Preferential Procurement Act of 2000, and replace the previous regulations that were published ten years ago in 2001.

Exciting new developments that are introduced by the new regulations include requirements for local production and content provisions. In terms of these regulations, designated sectors are required to source a minimum amount of locally produced goods and services as part of the tender conditions.

“Before attending the supplier forum, I relied on little information and knowledge I had on BBBEE certification, how grading of construction companies works and the tax compliance issues,” Mahlangu said.

Like many who attended, Nokuthula expressed satisfaction about the forums and their usefulness in equipping small business people with information to help them prosper.

“I believe that these kinds of forums will go a long way in developing and imparting useful information to business people and contractors about bidding, BBBEE certifications and other important aspects relating to tendering,” she said.

The forum was organised by the Provincial Supply Chain Management with intention of imparting useful information about Broad Based Black Economic Empowerment (BBBEE), grading construction companies, taxes and other tender related information to contractors and business people in Nkangala District.