Business commitment four: SUPPORT FOR LOCAL MANUFACTURING
It was agreed at Nedlac to develop company-level procurement strategies in the different sectors of the economy, which will
- Commit to improve the levels of local procurement
- Analyse the company’s supply-chain to identify imported goods and services, with a view to identifying economically viable local replacements;
- Support the establishment and development of commercially viable local businesses to meet the company’s requirements; and
- Set company targets as well as ways to measure and monitor its procurement in order to achieve increased, sustainable levels of local procurement.
Although these commitments are specifically aimed at the big corporates, they have major implications for small businesses. One of the major concerns of procurement managers is to find reliable suppliers that can deliver according to their requirements. From business there have been some initiatives like the South African Supplier Diversity Council and the Supply Chain Network but these have not been widely publicised. Both initiatives aim to developing small businesses into reliable suppliers to corporates, government and SOE’s. The Cape Chamber has signed a MoU with SASDC to set up a contact desk to assist small businesses to gain access to corporate buyers. The Cape Chamber is also in the process of signing an MoU with SC-Network to give members access to a national supplier database. Both initiatives are aimed to assist the procurement managers to access suppliers that have been vetted. Small businesses that don’t fulfil the requirements can be given assistance to comply.
Government and Labour have made similar commitments to increase the procurement of locally produced goods and services. Specifically the SOE’s and government departments on all levels have been given targets for local procurement and need to report on their achievements. Hence various procurement departments have asked for additional information (details of suppliers) in their tender documents to verify local manufacture.
There has been some resistance from members of the Cape Chamber, arguing that releasing that information is an infringement of the right to protect confidential trade information. They further argue that forcing them to disclose confidential proprietary information is an undesirable trade practise and as such do not believe that such practises would be in line with a commitment to ethical behaviour.
The questions we would like to ask:
- How do you feel about the commitment to local manufacture?
- Has the Accord had an impact on your business?
- Do you feel threatened by the request for information on your suppliers?
- Do you have any suggestions to further the Accord?
- How do you see the role of the Cape Chamber in this regard?
DEADLINE FOR COMMENTS: 1 April 2013
Small Business Development Portfolio Committee