Public works department moves to deal with local procurement

18 August 2017 - 16:54 By Penwell Dlamini
Nkosinathi Nhleko.
Nkosinathi Nhleko.
Image: Gallo Images / Nardus Engelbrecht

Public Works Minister Nkosinathi Nhleko has unveiled a holistic programme aimed at improving the efficiency of his department and making sure that initiatives implemented by government benefits local communities.

Nhleko presented his strategy at a media briefing in Pretoria on Friday.

The strategy follows a lengthy process the minister has followed since taking over the department in April. He looked at which areas needed attention to achieve the objectives of “radical” economic transformation.

One issue to be addressed is to fill vacant board positions for the South African Council of the Architectural Profession‚ the Council for the Built Environment and the Construction Industry Development Board.

Other issues to be prioritised are:

- Audit the scoping and procurement of all information technology; - Monitor the implementation of the suditor-general’s recommendations; - Develop a communication and marketing strategy for the department; - Improve the image of the department and its entities.

Nhleko said another of the department’s priorities is to implement the new Preferential Procurement Policy Framework Regulations for historically disadvantaged people‚ as well as for women‚ the youth and people with disabilities.

“To fully implement the regulations‚ we have published mandatory prequalification for quotations and tenders. All tenders that are greater than R30-million are subjected to mandatory sub-contracting of 30% of the value of the tender.

“These measures are about development. It is important to put an emphasis on localised participation. In certain areas there has been an uprising by communities who felt that they were being excluded in the development taking place in their area.

“We have spoken to the issue of a co-ordinating committee that would look into issues of transformation. But also that you have conventional management structures that will be part of implementing agencies‚” he said.

Nhleko said local sub-contractors will have to meet certain requirements to mitigate the risks of underperformance.

These include:

- The relevant accreditation; - Registration with relevant bodies; - Possess necessary capabilities to deliver the sub-contracted work; - Meet requirements in terms of the stipulated designated groups; and - Be geographically located at the place where the project is being delivered.

Later this month‚ the department will hold an indaba hosted with the construction sector to deal with issues of transformation in the sector. The indaba will be aimed at bringing big and small players under one roof to ensure there is a common goal of achieving transformation in the sector.