The North West province will table a bill that forces companies to spend 70% of their procurement budgets to procure goods and services in villages and townships, premier Supra Mahumapelo said on Friday.
“Bokone-Bophirima [North West] Government will in the next three weeks table a VTSD [village, townships and small dorpies] Preferential Procurement Bill in the North West Provincial Legislature to force both state and private companies to spend 70% of their procurement budgets to procure goods and services in villages, townships and small dorpies,” he said at the his state of the province address in Taung.
“The VTSD Preferential Procurement Act will definitely come into effect from 1st April 2017 with the new financial year 2017/18 and government is still committed to achieving the 70% procurement.”
He said government will no longer feed the greed of white monopoly capital at the expense of black entrepreneurs, the majority of whom live in villages, townships and small dorpies.
“We will not use public funds to perpetuate skewed accumulation of wealth and privilege by a few section of the society mainly white and male, who constitutes a small number of the population of Bokone-Bophirima [North West].”
He said in sectors of the economy where government may not have direct fiscal control, they would use legislation and regulations to ensure that private companies do not avoid their legal obligations in terms of transformation and preferential procurement.
“Whilst the state is criticised by many at times for not acting tough enough against some public sector bureaucrats, boards and shareholders in the private sector have allowed private companies executives to break the law and act criminally without consequences.”
He said banks should no longer be allowed to be unaccountable corporate bullies who were above the law, immune from legal liability even when they break the law and cause untold harm to the economy and the public.
He said they would be discussing provincial government’s future relations with Absa, adding that it would depend on the attitude of Absa whether the relationship continues or ends.
“As the province we support the pronouncement by President Jacob Zuma to establish a State Bank which shall utilise the State’s trillion rand budget to force transformation in the sector and open it to participation by more black players.
“This should happen in every sector and industry where monstrous monopolies exist who are reluctant or refuse to embrace transformation and participation by the majority of our people in particular sectors of the economy. In the Province we are in the process of establishing the AgriFund as part of resuscitating the Agribank.”
He said the North West was also in discussions with VBS Bank on the role the bank could play strengthening VTSD economies.
VBS Mutual Bank, made headlines last year, when it was reported it has granted President Jacob Zuma a R7.8m loan to pay back part of the money used for development in Nkandla.
– African News Agency