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City varsity to host procurement day

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SPU will today host its first Open Procurement Day, where local communities who wish to be part of the university’s database will get information on how to get on board.

Director of special projects, Professor Patrick Fitzgerald

THE SOL Plaatje University will today host its first Open Procurement Day, where local communities who wish to be part of the university’s database will get information on how to get on board.

The university said it wants to showcase to local business owners how they can play a role in the economic empowerment and development of the city.

The university’s director of special projects, Patrick Fitzgerald, said the open day will feature a number of stakeholders who will educate local communities on how to secure a listing on the database.

“The university has been operating for the past five years and there is still a lot of work and opportunities coming for local communities. The highly-visible construction project is not the only source of opportunity to supply the university, as there are other procurements that occur more frequently than the three-year cycle of the large capex (capital expenditure) projects. As the University’s core business is tertiary education and not building construction, the regular purchase of various goods and services are an essential part of our operational expenditure, creating opportunities for longer-term relationships with appropriate suppliers,” said Fitzgerald.

“We have had many complaints from local communities about the procurement process. We have realised that many local communities take short cuts or even provide incorrect information which results in the university not being able to do business with them. We will inform all business owners, whether it be someone who sells water or toilet paper on how to register correctly on our database.”

Fitzgerald said that they will have informations sessions, including various stalls, where people can gather information on the process.

“Attendees will be able to gather the needed information from the stalls which apply to them. We will have various stakeholders, like the Department of Economic Development, Public Works and the Northern Cape Chamber of Commerce and industry (Nocci) who will also inform attendees on how to get on the database. There are people who believe we have been sitting on information on how they can get involved. That information will be clearly circulated and addressed on the day.”

Fitzgerald added that attendees will also be afforded an opportunity to engage the university on all unclear matters.

“The two procurement policies, one for goods and services and one for infrastructure, as well as the tendering process of each, as determined by national requirements and the South African National Treasury, will be explained to everyone. We will also explain to those who might have not qualified to make it onto the database on areas where they need to improve.

“It is in the interest of the university to use local businesses in order to grow the local economy.”

Registration for the open day starts at 8am and will be hosted at the award-winning Library Building.