The Free State Provincial Government’s endorsement and support of the 2nd Annual Smart Procurement World Conference and Enterprise & Supplier Development (ESD) Expo will see the building of sustainable local industries. In addition, says Debbie Tagg, COO of Smart Procurement (the organisers of the event), the event will help to accelerate SMMEs on their journey to becoming mainstream economic players.

The Free State Department of Small Business Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs (DESTEA) and Free State Provincial Treasury are the official provincial partners for the event, which is being held at the University of the Free State in Bloemfontein from 24 to 26 February 2020.

“It is with great pleasure that the Free State Provincial Government, through the Free State Provincial Treasury, is now able to provide its support of the Smart Procurement World Conference, in collaboration with DESTEA,” says Linda Riddles, Compliance Specialist, Free State Provincial Treasury.

“This event will afford professionals the unique opportunity to interact with the region’s top procurement and supply chain thinkers and other national counterparts to discuss innovative ways to get ahead of the curve and to drive economic development. The programme is current and relevant to anybody practising procurement in South Africa today, making it clear why it is commonly known as the premier industry event for supply chain management professionals,” Riddles adds.

Riddles explains that with budget constraints and the high percentage of poor audit findings in procurement, municipality officials and supply chain management practitioners are encouraged to attend the conference. “This is an ideal opportunity to broaden their understanding of best practises and to share knowledge across government entities. This procurement event also presents networking opportunities for supply chain management practitioners to engage with one another across public and private sectors.”

The conference programme will, amongst other focal points, discuss capacity and contractor development initiatives work for Free State small businesses and find ways to improve procurement processes to benefit women-owned businesses.

“Delegates will find the topics thought-provoking and practically useful. Some of the topics on the table include ‘Leadership Challenges in Procurement Today’, presented by Masechaba Sesing – Provincial Accountant General (PAG), Free State Provincial Treasury. Andries Louw – Chief Director, Transversal Internal Audit Services, Risk Management and Forensic Audit, Eastern Cape Department of Provincial Treasury – will present ‘Building Accountability, Transparency and Achieving Optimised Procurement’, and Gadija Brown – MEC, Finance, Free State Provincial Government – together with Basani Duiker – Chief Director: SCM GMC, Office of the CPO, National Treasury – will discuss how delegates can effectively deal with the ever-widening gap between audit expectations and findings,” says Tagg.

The co-located ESD Expo is a particularly strategic platform for the 100 local black-owned SMMEs to showcase their offerings to the procurement and supply chain liaison delegates.

For more information on the upcoming series of Smart Procurement World events for 2020, please visit the website at: