SABC News - Lack of information remains reason many SA companies are failing:Friday 29 September 2017

Lack of information remains reason many SA companies are failing

Friday 29 September 2017 18:31

Amina Accram

The Trade and Industry Department (DTI) through its Trade Invest Africa this week hosted a conference with the World Bank and businesses to see how South Africa could take advantage of funds available through the bank. (SABC)

Lack of information remains one of the key reasons many South African companies are failing to secure business opportunities with the World Bank in developing country markets. This is compared to their Asian, European, Australian and US counterparts.

The Trade and Industry Department (DTI) through its Trade Invest Africa this week hosted a conference with the World Bank and businesses to see how South Africa could take advantage of funds available through the bank.

The seminar also provided an opportunity for the private sector to learn more about the procurement and financing policies of the bank.

The World Bank in 2017 announced that it would roll-out 57 billion dollars for financing Sub-Saharan Africa over the next three fiscal years.

The bulk of the 45 billion dollar funding comes from the International Development Association.

This money is already available as loans for clients both private and government for project development.

The World Bank says it wants South Africa to benefit from this.

The bank's Executive Director for South Africa, Nigeria and Angola, Bongi Kunene says, "It is meant to facilitate development in developing countries; that's 39 low income countries. The World Bank in this instance where its working is the most competitive because the client is the country."

Lerato Mataboge, Acting Chief Executive Officer of Trade Invest Africa, says, "This seminar is a partnership between the DTI and the World Bank Group with the support of the National Treasury to really get the Word Bank to engage with the South African community. They have rising concerns about the number of projects that the World Bank is financing in Africa and the question is how they begin to participate as construction; services whatever is required; what are the procumbent processes of the World Bank from bidding and alike. And what support does the Group offer to the private sector."

The DTI and the World Bank are urging South African firms to seize the 45 billion dollar procurement opportunity.

Mataboge explaining why South African businesses have not been able to apply for the bank's funding in the past, says, "We believe the bulk of it is lack of knowledge or complexities because the application processes are quite rigorous and rightfully so, because there is governance element that has to be maintained. They have just revamped now their procurement policy so you always have to be keeping up to date."

“It's possible that some of the businesses do not bid because they do not know and some may not know in 2015 approved a simplification exercise and the documents and process are now much, much simple. And some are deterred because there is international competitive bidding and that is why we are here to explain today."

The DTI says the World Bank is looking to fund sectors in economic infrastructure in the energy, transport and financial development sectors.

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