Dr D Klatzow.jpgInvestigations into large scale fraud are severely hampered by a break down of the national support systems, Dr David Klatzow, world renowned forensic scientist told delegates that the SmartProcurement World Conference held earlier in October.

Klatzow investigated the Helderberg air disaster for SAA, Brett Kebble’s alleged assisted suicide, the Inga Lotz murder and acquittal of Fred van der Vyfer.

“Our forensic labs are in free fall”, said Klatzow. “Blood-alcohol tests and post mortems are taking years to deliver, severely undermining the justice system. The reason for which is simple neglect by the responsible government agencies and departments”.

The role of forensic (or scientific) analysis in assisting the fight against crime is essential to get convictions in many cases and must be promoted by the responsible companies or departments. Forensic science is there to protect the citizens of the country, he said.

We live in uncertain and extremely volatile times

Ettienne le Roux.pngMeanwhile SmartProcurement World’s second keynote address touched on the irony that today, from a global perspective, the emerging economies (Brazil, China, India) can look to 6% growth rates while the advanced (EU, Japan, US) economies are languishing around 1.5% growth forecasts, said Chief Economist at Rand Merchant Bank, Ettienne le Roux.

Le Roux attributes this to the fact the advanced economies presently have severe growth restraints, caused by:
• too much government and private debt;
• US households are expected to continue de-gearing and paying back debt for at least the next two years; and
• governments stepping in to counter the global melt-down in 2008: all that happened was a shift of debt from the private to the public balance sheet, which restricts growth.

Furthermore, le Roux said that Africa is witnessing major infrastructure development across the continent with free trade zones sprouting up and stimulating trade. “Our main responsibility must be to focus on operational requirements and make it easier for others to do business with us”.

On a question of what influences the Rand / US Dollar exchange rate le Roux pointed out that the US Dollar acts counter cyclically and usually strengthens when bad world news breaks as investors look to invest in it.

For the time being he advises we keep an eye on the EU and trust that as a group they will act to solve their structural problems.