Some indigenous black businesspersons have called for collaboration to take up available government business opportunities.
The Public Procurement and Disposal of Assets Act (PPDA) Section 44 stipulates that 60 percent of contracts under the national competitive bidding should be awarded to indigenous black Malawians and the rest to others.
In an interview on Friday in Lilongwe, one of the local business operators Kate Kamwangala said they met to share knowledge on how to “successfully bid for the government business”.
She admitted that some indigenous black businesses have over the years been failing to succeed in winning government contracts because of working in isolation.
Said Kamwangala: “The 60/40 policy is in place and government will not come to tell us to apply for the opportunities, which is why we said let us mobilise ourselves to discuss challenges and opportunities and map the way forward.
“We want to be aggregating our resources to solve capital requirement challenges which remain a big issue.”
She called on all the policy implementers to adhere to the government set the 60/40 policy regulation to ensure fairness in public procurement.
Public Procurement and Disposal of Assets Authority director general Elias Hausi in an interview challenged indigenous black businesses to get organised to reap the benefits of the 60/40 government policy.
He said the law also comprises an order where certain businesses are apportioned to micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs); hence, the call to be organised to avoid losing out on the available opportunities.
Hausi said apart from the capacity to deliver the goods and services in time, government also looks at quality, which is also critical in the award of the contracts.
He said: “The message is that if the micro, small and medium enterprises want to participate fully, this is the time to position themselves.
“Time for going it alone is gone because to do business with government or parastatals requires adequate capital and expertise.”
Hausi said most of the MSMEs fail to fulfill the requirements of bidding documents; hence, PPDA was availing itself to build capacity to help small businesses.
Minister of Trade Sosten Gwengwe is on record as having said that in the 2019/20 fiscal year, out of the K600 billion government procurement budget, less than 15 percent was taken up by indigenous black Malawians.