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COVID-19: ANC NEC Urges Government To Support Small Businesses In Procurement of PPE

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Charles Molele

The ANC’s highest decision-making body between national conferences has urged government to drive localization, black economic empowerment and the development of local manufacturing in its procurement of COVID-19 equipment.

The national executive committee (NEC) of the ANC took a resolution on the issue during a virtual meeting on Thursday, when it discussed COVID-19 and economic reconstruction, transformation and growth.

The NEC said government should consciously empower small businesses, cooperatives and the informal sector in all of phases of its COVID-19 interventions.

The NEC also tasked the ANC’s Economic Transformation Committee to urgently develop, for discussion, a draft Post Covid-19 Economic Reconstruction, Growth and Transformation Plan, that places localisation and reindustrialisation, transformation, investments in the Second Economy, the green economy and job creation, and integration into the African continent at the centre.

This comes after black businesses complained about the marginalization of small businesses and local manufacturers in the allocation of multimillion-rand contracts for purchasing of equipment for the fight against Covid-19, including ventilators and personal protective equipment (PPEs).

President Cyril Ramaphosa has set aside R20 billion for the Department of Health as part of the R500-billion stimu­lus package to help the country weather the storm of the global pandemic.

Government has currently centralised the procurement of PPEs in the of­fice of the chief procurement of­ficer Estelle Setan.

Setan’s office has appointed Tshwane-based Im­perial Health Sciences (IHS) as the company to help with the imple­mentation of the system.

IHS is a business unit of logis­tics giant Imperial South Africa.

The non-executive directors of the multinational company in­clude Phumzile Langeni, Gra­ham Dempster and Peter Coop­er.

Langeni is one of Ramapho­sa’s investment envoys.

The NEC meeting also came out in support of Tourism Minister Mmaloko Kubayi-Ngubane in her court case over the use of broad-based BEE compliance as a prerequisite for companies seeking relief funding from her department.

Kubayi-Ngubane’s decision, according to the NEC, was done in the interest of advancing an inclusive economy.

(Compiled by Inside Politics staff)

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