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19 June 2014 | Gurjit Degun
The South African government is to promote local procurement by buying 75 per cent of goods and services from producers in the country.
Speaking at the joint sitting of parliament in Cape Town for his state of the nation address, South Africa’s president Jacob Zuma also said the government wants to increase domestic production.
He also plans to address weaknesses in procurement, management and operations systems “that undermine the efficiency and effectiveness of government”. Zuma said this will be done by centralising procurement under the Office of the Chief Procurement Officer in the National Treasury, which is already under way.
“We have begun piloting this new approach with the centralised procurement of school furniture in the Eastern Cape,” he said. “The furniture will be delivered in all Eastern Cape schools by the middle of August 2014.
“Measures will be introduced to prevent public servants and public representatives from doing business with the state.
“These will be supported by improved implementation of the Financial Disclosure Framework, strengthened protection of whistle-blowers, and the provision of technical assistance to departments for the effective management of discipline.”
Zuma also said the government needs to come up with “innovative” ways to “fast-track procurement and delivery by government in the energy sector”.
The local procurement target was a pledge in the African National Congress election manifesto earlier this year.