Impact of NDP 2030 on Public Sector SCM | by Thandi Marah

South Africa’s National Development Plan 2030 (NDP2030) is a plan developed for the country to eliminate poverty and reduce inequality by 2030 through uniting South Africans, unleashing the energies of its citizens, growing an inclusive economy, building capabilities, enhancing the capability of the state and leaders working together to solve complex problems.

The plan specifically addresses the challenges faced in public sector procurement and proposes five areas of focus to ‘ensure procurement systems deliver value for money’:

1. Differentiate between different forms of procurement - the procurement of goods, services and infrastructure all pose different challenges and the required skills sets vary according to context.

2.Strategise by elevating trade-offs above the project level - looking at procurement decisions across a whole sector rather than viewing each project in isolation. The state’s procurement expenditure must be used to push transformation, but it also needs to be realistic about the ability of sharpening procurement systems to balance multiple priorities.

3. Building relationships of trust and understanding - supply-chain managers need to build constructive relations with private contractors and a strong understanding of particular sectors.

4. Build enabling support structures - professional supply-chain management capacity needs to be developed through training and accreditation.

5. Ensure effective and transparent oversight - oversight functions need to assess value for money.

The South African government has identified 13 objectives to pursue within the NDP2030, of which 7 directly impact public sector Supplier Development & Localisation:

1.Economy and employment – reduce the cost of living for poor households and costs of doing business through microeconomic reforms.

2.Economic infrastructure – revise national electrification plan and ensure 90 percent grid access by 2030 (with balance met through off-grid technologies).

3.Environmental sustainability and resilience – carbon price, building standards, vehicle emission standards and municipal regulations to achieve scale in stimulating renewable energy, waste recycling and retrofitting buildings.

4. South Africa in the region and the world - focus trade penetration and diplomatic presence in fast-growing markets and identifying and promoting practical opportunities for cooperation based on grants and funding.   

5. Improving education, training and innovation - build the capacity of FET institutions to become the preferred institutions for vocational education and training and expand the geographical spread of FET institutions.

6. Fighting corruption - centralise oversight of tenders of long duration or above a certain amount. Establish an accountability framework linking the liability of individual public servants to their responsibilities in proportion to their seniority.

7. Nation building and social cohesion - new models of BEE to be explored to improve the efficacy of the programme. Clear targets should be set for broadening economic participation, enhancing predictability for economic factors.

The National Planning Commission agrees that the most pressing challenges are that too few people work and our education outcomes are of poor quality. It also strongly supports the need to build a capable and developmental state.

State organs and their supply chain managers are now seriously challenged to be more accountable, help stimulate domestic industry and job creation and build a more capable public sector, to allow South Africa to create economic wellbeing for all South Africans.

Thandi Marah is a Senior Manager in the Supplier Development & Localisation Department at Eskom.

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Posted on July 09, 2013