Legislation is like a rowboat. The boat is provided for you to get to the other side, but you have to row it in the right direction in order to get there. This is the thinking behind the new regulations on Preferential Procurement that come into effect on 7 December 2011. For the supplier, the rowboat is the means to securing a contract; for government the rowboat will facilitate the equitable spread of economic empowerment.
The loopholes that have allowed the prevalence of fronting and the enrichment of individuals at the expense of wider capacity building and skills transfer have been a worrying factor for the architects of Black Economic Empowerment (BEE). Many are asking the question: after 17 years of BEE, where are the black industrialists?
President Zuma asked this question at the Black Business Summit in September 2011. “The economy must produce authentic black entrepreneurs, who own factories and manufacture textiles, furniture, metal products or whatever the market requires,” he said.
The answer to this concern may well be provided by the new Preferential Procurement regulations which aim at closing the door to fronting and black intermediaries that act as order mail boxes. The intention is to encourage black suppliers to develop their own capacity to deliver while recognising companies that engage in real transformation. Both the weighting of procurement points and the new restraints on outsourcing should result in a more equitable outcome.
Evaluation of points
Come December, tenders must first be evaluated on functionality, with scores allocated for each candidate’s capacity to meet the terms of reference. These may include criteria stipulated by National Treasury or the relevant government body to meet certain transformational objectives.
Applicants who meet the minimum criteria for functionality must then be evaluated on price and Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment (BBBEE) status, according to an 80/20 or 90/10 formula. So the message is; your tender application must first meet all the technical criteria, second it must be competitively priced and third, you should have a high BBBEE rating.
For contract values under R1 million, the 80/20 weighting applies. This means that 80 points are allocated for the price and the balance of twenty points are allocated for BBBEE rating, with L1 scoring the full 20 points and lower ratings scoring a sliding scale of lower points – 18, 16, 12 and 8 points scored for L2, L3, L4, L5 respectively, and so on. This weighting gives proportionately greater favour to the BBBEE status of the applicants, making it a little easier for small black suppliers to compete.
The balance shifts to 90/10 for contract values above R1 million, which places greater pressure on applications for multi-million rand contracts to be competitively priced. 90 points are allocated to price, while a maximum of 10 points count towards BBBEE status, with L1 scoring the full 10 points, followed by 9, 8, 5 and 4 points for L2, L3, L4 and L5 respectively down to non-compliant bids that get zero.
In both cases, the contract must be awarded to the tenderer who scores the highest number of points out of 100. If this does not happen, the other candidates may challenge the procurement decision.
A high BBBEE rating could be a tangible benefit for companies that want to charge a bit more for a project. In other words, a L1 or L2 candidate may still win on points even if his price is higher than that of his competitors. This is certainly an incentive for companies to clear the Level 3 barrier and get into the top end of the tender evaluation.
Conditions of outsourcing
One significant condition is that contracts can no longer be awarded to black intermediaries who then simply pass on the actual work to a non-compliant company. If the tenderer intends sub-contracting more than 25% of the value of the contract to any other enterprise, that sub-contractor must have a BBBEE status equal to or greater than that of the tenderer, or the work must go to an exempt micro enterprise (EME); otherwise the BBBEE points of the tenderer will not be counted in the total score. This should also put a lid on corrupt tendering practices and encourage the development of capacity within black-owned companies.
A second significant condition is the Local Content Clause: the contractor may not renege on contract terms that stipulate a minimum threshold of local production and local content. This means, for example, that you cannot, after being awarded a contract, decide to source cheaper materials from the east rather than use local materials; you are obliged to meet the contract requirements for local manufacture and services. Government has already started to identify designated sectors, such as the automotive industry, where local content rules will be applied diligently.
If you are found to be in breach of these conditions, the penalties may be disqualification, having to pay for costs and damages incurred, cancellation of the contract, being barred from doing business with government (any organ of state) for ten years, or criminal prosecution.
When the Preferential Procurement regulations come into force the result will be a more level playing field for tender applications and an emphasis on using compliant suppliers who can do the work themselves. Regulations are always onerous, but these are designed to drive transformation more effectively, opening the way for real participation of black and BEE compliant suppliers in the economy.
5 Ways SMMEs Can Best Use An Incubation Centre
Here are some tips on how entrepreneurs can make the most of these incubation centres.
Incubation centres play a meaningful role – not only in South Africa but around the world – as they groom SMMEs and give them access to opportunities that will help them survive in a competitive marketplace. These centres help entrepreneurs modernise their businesses with world-class technology, while providing insights that can help turn ideas into products. Incubation centres offer infrastructure and support, knowledge-sharing and a unique environment that helps strengthen their businesses.
Earlier this month, Cisco South Africa launched its R10 million Edge Incubation Centre in Pretoria where 30 SMMEs per year will have the opportunity to make use of the platform and speed up their entry to market. The centre gives SMMEs access to complete business facilities including workspaces, video conferencing and collaboration platforms, boardroom and training facilities, and access to global Cisco experts who can help them develop business ideas in a digital world.
Here are some tips on how entrepreneurs can make the most of these incubation centres:
Gain insights from global experts using the latest Webex technology and collaborate with other SMMEs. Utilise the meeting spaces to drive commercial sales initiatives with the help of business support facilities.
2. Resources & Equipment
Make use of laboratories and tools like cloud-based facilities, smart interactive whiteboards for content sharing, video conferencing, and meeting rooms. Utilise the high-tech customer demo centre as a practice platform.
Take advantage of the enablement programmes as well as the ongoing training and development. Knowledge transfer will always help your business. Utilise the technical support and business insights to grow your business and make it competitive in the digital economy.
This is your main tool in a digital marketplace. Make use of the high-speed broadband facilities and develop your digital skills because you will need it.
Don’t forget to utilise the pre-sales support as this may give you the edge in the marketplace. Gain insights and experience and use it to your advantage.
9 In 10 Workers Want A Festive Gift From Their Employer To Make Them Feel Valued
29% Would like to receive vouchers from their company.
As the festive season approaches, digital print company instantprint have revealed what managers can be doing to show staff they are appreciated.
Over 9 in 10 workers (94%) want a gift from their employers to make them feel valued, appreciated and happy this Christmas.
The research, which surveyed 1,500 UK office workers, also revealed the most in demand gifts that employees would like to receive from their employers:
- 29% would like a gift voucher
- 8% would like an early finish
- One in five (20%) would like a free bar at the company Christmas party
- One in ten (10.3%) would like a physical gift
- 7% would like a charitable donation to be made in their name.
Different sections of the workforce had varying demands. IT professionals would prefer an early finish this festive period, with 35% in the IT department choosing this as their ideal Christmas gift.
Senior management seem to have a more selfless approach to the gifts they would like to receive. One in ten (11%) said they would like a charitable donation to be made in their name, compared to the average demand for this present of just 7%.
There was some difference between men and women too. Women are the ones really pressing for gift vouchers, with 33% saying they are the ideal present, compared to just 23% of men. Male employees seem to prefer a free bar, with 22% choosing this, compared to just 18% of women.
James Kinsella, CEO and Co-founder of instantprint, said about the research:
“Most organisation take part in the festive period, with decorations, Christmas parties and office Secret Santas.
“But this research highlights how important a small show of gratitude can be for your workforce. Something as simple as an early finish, free bar at a party or a Christmas gift voucher can make employees feel valued and appreciated. This in turn can help boost employee morale, loyalty and productivity in the workplace.”
South African Students To Battle In Universities Business Challenge To Win Up To R50 000
Students will compete in a simulation that encourages business skills.
Cognity Advisory’s Universities Business Challenge (UBC), sponsored by General Electric (GE), launched in July this year, has seen 500 students from 13 different universities across South Africa participate in a business simulation competition, that’s designed to develop their entrepreneurship skills. The challenge is now down to just 10 teams from five different universities (approximately 50 students), who will travel to Johannesburg to compete in the two-day final event on the 5 and 6th December 2018.
The ten teams competing in the final includes three teams from the North West University, two from Mangosuthu University of Technology, two from the Vaal University of Technology, two from the University of Limpopo and one from The University of KwaZulu Natal (UKZN). These teams will be competing for the chance to win up to R50,000.
The aim of the UBC, now in its second year in South Africa and 20th year globally, is to tackle South Africa’s high level of youth unemployment. Statistics South Africa (Stats SA) that South Africa’s official unemployment rate increased by 0.3 of a percentage point to 27.5% in the third quarter of 2018.
The competition simulates a business environment, with students given a problem to solve. The simulation is designed to foster skills such as analytical thinking, problem solving, commercial awareness and team-working. The challenge is designed to empower young people and equip them with the necessary skills to succeed in business.
Tope Toogun, development advisor and CEO of Cognity Advisory says, “Students are very prepared in terms of theory when they leave university, but not the practical skills they need to start and run a business. Seeing as of formal businesses it’s really important that these students know how to build a business on their own or at the very least, in small teams.”
Toogun explains how the simulation encourages business skills, “The students competing in the challenge learn all about managing people, customer service, working in teams and how to create a start up without even realising they are being exposed to all these skills. These are the skills that will separate the members in the final. Students must work as a team and make instinctive decisions.”
Cognity Advisory is engaging students through social media competitions and newsletter updates. These competitions include spot prizes for students who post an image or video and receive the highest engagement on it.
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