The Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality on 11 February 2015 met with the NMB SMME Forum, in order to listen to and constructively engage with them on grievances and areas of concern.
According to Acting City Manager, Mzwake Clay, more than fifty SME Contractors, mainly from the construction industry, raised a number of grievances, including alleged lack of information on progress on the policy formulation on SMME Procurement, the fact that SMEs were not paid on time, allegations that construction projects were being outsourced to the Coega Development Corporation, the non-involvement of SMEs in mega-projects, and “rumours” that the Human Settlements roster system was going to be done away with.
After engaging with the contractors, the NMBM reiterated that the 30 day payment schedule would be adhered to, that contractors who had not been paid would be paid by Friday,13 February 2015.
SMEs would also be informed about the stages in the development of the SME Procurement Policy as it evolves to Council as well as the public participation process in this regard.
In addition, SMEs would be kept informed about mega-projects and any and all empowerment programmes. The parties agreed that there would be regular meetings between the NMB SME Forum and the Municipality’s Human Settlements and Infrastructure Engineering Directorates.
Chief Whip Joy Seale who was at the meeting said: “We appreciate and welcome the constructive engagement with the SMEs. We full understand their concerns and we endeavour to ensure that they are kept informed of Council developments through the proper channels. We have a developmental agenda and believe in and are committed to SME development within the framework of the MFMA and the SCM Policy.”
Acting City Manager, Mzwake Clay, echoed the Chief Whip’s sentiments, saying that the regular meetings to keep SMEs abreast of developments and always keeping an open dialogue would go a long way in satisfactorily responding to their concerns within the legislative and policy framework.
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Article source: http://mype.co.za/new/smme-and-nmbm-meeting/45922/2015/02