Zimbabwe: Praz Pushes for SME Quota in Govt Procurement Deals

The Procurement Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe (PRAZ) is working on a host of proposals that stakeholders want amended to align the country’s procurement laws to the Constitution.

Chief among the additions is the inclusion of suggestions for Government to acquire at least 25 percent of its goods and services from small to medium enterprises, said PRAZ acting chief executive, Mr Clever Ruswa.

“There have been proposals by the Small and Medium Enterprises Association of Zimbabwe proposing alignment of the PRAZ Act and Regulations to the SME’s policy,” he said at a media engagement forum.

The SMEs policy already provides for the quota which is, however, missing from the Public Procurement and Disposal of Public Assets (PPDPA) Act.

“The authority will be incorporating these amendments as inclusion of SMEs fosters competition by helping more firms to enter the market and helping to grow the market and push innovation,” said Mr Ruswa.

“It also aids in achieving better value for money such as through more suppliers resulting in more competition, SMEs fostering local benefits.”

He said inclusion of SME’s will aid PRAZ in achieving its mandate of promoting an efficient, fair, competitive and transparent public procurement in Zimbabwe.

There are also proposals to align the law and the local content strategy to promote acquisition of most goods from local companies.

The country’s Local Content Strategy, implemented by the Ministry of Industry and Commerce, aims to increase local content levels from 25 percent to 80 percent by 2023.

“To aid, PPDPA Act and Regulations need to incorporate weightings for local content, with preference being given to bidders providing local content, and to local manufacturers over importers/middlemen,” Mr Ruswa said.

Other proposals are minor and includes deletion and replacement of some sections and clauses.

Mr Ruswa said the need to align the laws with the Constitution was borne out of gaps identified in the implementation of the legislation.

“The three years that PRAZ has been in operation witnessed stakeholders implementing the PPDPA Act and just like any new legislation, some gaps were identified during implementation, which needs to be attended to for the good of the economy,” he said.

To facilitate the amendments and get stakeholder input, PRAZ has met with players in sectors including insurance; health, motor industry; women, youth, sports, art, Information Communication and Technology, tourism and hospitality among others. — New Ziana.

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