JacobZuma.jpgThe government’s procurement policy will be overhauled in a bid to support black and small businesses, said President Jacob Zuma.

”The buying power of the state is a powerful economic tool. It can and must be used to advance black economic empowerment, ” said Zuma, speaking at a Black Business Council dinner in September.

The Preferential Procurement Policy Framework Act was being amended and would include a compulsory clause that ensured 40% of all government contracts of over R30-million were subcontracted to small, black-owned businesses, said Zuma.

The amendment bill is now in the consultative phase before it goes to parliament.

He said economic freedom was still lagging behind and could only be achieved if black people had access to funding – a sentiment he has often repeated.

“At the heart of the economy is finance. If you are deprived access to finance you are deprived access of economic opportunities.”

Zuma pointed to the National Empowerment Fund (NEF) as a vehicle to assist in funding black businesses.
In relation to how much the NEF has spent, Zuma said “to us figures look big but in the real economy it is less than peanuts”.

This article first appeared in heraldlive.co.za