The sixth annual Western Cape Smart Procurement World conference will address a number of thorny issues around procurement; the most controversial being the recovery from state capture.

The conference will deal with ways that procurement professionals can drive a constitutional mandate and operate with freedom from external influences.

Debbie Tagg, COO for Commerce Edge, the organisers of the conference, says that procurement remains firmly under the microscope, so it is incumbent upon practitioners to position themselves and their market sector to protect and strengthen core institutions from the influences of state capture in South Africa.

“Like any other country, South Africa has policies that look good on paper, but in the trenches practitioners are frustrated. Policy implementation and rollout to achieve the desired effect of efficient service delivery, public value and make organisations more citizen-centric is still a nightmare for many practitioners. The conference will allow delegates to learn about first-hand experiences around the challenges and lessons learnt on how not to go about it,” Tagg points out.

Held at the GrandWest Entertainment Centre from 9 to 10 April 2019, the conference has attracted various high-profile speakers that include Karyn Maughan, an award-winning investigative journalist and South Africa’s top legal journalist; James Brent Styan, author of Steinhoff Inside SA’s Biggest Corporate Crash; Nika Soon-Shiong, international policy, office of the president from the World Bank, among other speakers.

Tagg also mentions that another area of focus is how South Africa can build a future where the economy is expanding, communities are thriving, small businesses are growing and more people are employed through innovative entrepreneurship.

“How can procurement, finance and executive work together to drive meaningful enterprise and supplier development (ESD) in their organisation?” she concludes.