Chris Hani district municipality held a suppliers’ day for district service providers at the Thobi Kula Indoor Sports Centre recently.
Finance portfolio head Mthethunzima Jack said the aim was to share information with service providers to improve working relations. “The aim is to be timeously proactive in providing necessary information. To show transparency, empower and ensure that the issue of poverty and unemployment is addressed. Service providers are one of our main stakeholders working closely with us with the aim of developing the district as a whole.”
Business development manager Ngoni Katsere made a presentation on the SMME funding model and the criteria they use to evaluate and assess applications. “Those criteria are in place and are guided by a funding model that was approved by council in 2017. The second part focused on the contractor development policy which was recently adopted by council which seeks to provide opportunities for contractors, but also to ensure that they are able to improve their grading and status and tender for bigger projects. We have a training program which is split into two parts that targets grade three to six and the second one targets one and two.”
Katsere said the first important criteria they focused on before providing funding was the viability of the business. “More than that we want to look at how many jobs and the impact it has created. Chris Hani district is a predominately rural one and has a high unemployment rate so any business that seeks funding needs to make some level of intervention or impact in terms of addressing some of those challenges. The process requires an assessment and verification. We don’t just look at the business plan and the proposal. We visit business premises where we verify and interrogate. The final recommendation sent to the committee is based on the verification done in that business,” he said.
Issues raised from the floor by service providers included transparency, the verification of locality and outsourcing, especially in the division of construction.
“It is a challenge that we have identified, but obviously the main contractors have a preference. The intent of this contractor development policy in terms of sub-contracting, is for a business that needs to sub-contract to identify sub-contractors in the program. Secondly we want to encourage all contractors to procure locally, but what is important is that those who are supplying comply with the relevant quality requirements,” added Katsere.
Senior environmental health practitioner Ncumisa Qolo said her presentation was around the legislation framework for food control. “I gave out the current regulation from the foodstuffs, cosmetics and disinfectants act which stipulates that everyone handling food needs to have a certificate of acceptability. The purpose of the regulation is to govern general hygiene requirements for food premises and transportation of food.”
Qolo said the certificate was issued once the premises had been certified to comply. The new application prices for certificates is R283.63 and the renewal is R113.45 and to replace lost certificates businesses paid R113.45 for reprint.”
Mkhanyiseli Tyali from Engcobo who owns a construction company said issues were addressed but there were still gaps and areas that needed improvement. “I noticed that there are gaps in the contractor development policy because some of the challenges faced by SMMEs are caused by the municipality itself using white-owned companies. The reality is that there is a technical exclusion of black SMMEs. For instance, when there’s an advert requesting the hire of plant less than two years old, the reality is that there is no black person who has such equipment in the district. If black-owned SMMEs want to purchase equipment the first thing they do is go to an auction where they buy used plant so there’s definitely an exclusion in that regard,” said Tyali.