A South African National Defence Force (SANDF) suppliers’ day in Bloemfontein attracted some 900 participants who came to explore economic opportunities with the military.
The Logistics Division of the SANDF hosted the Suppliers Day on 12 October at Air Force Base Bloemspruit with the aim of informing potential suppliers how to register on the Central Supplier Database of the National Treasury (CSD) in order to conduct business with the State.
The Air Force Base Bloemspruit Corporate Communication Office said this is one of the measures by the Department of Defence to contribute to the development of Small, Medium and Micro Enterprises (SMMEs).
Representatives from Small Businesses Development, National Youth Development Agency (NYDA) and Small Enterprise Development Agency (SEDA) attended the event and explained to suppliers their available services. Brigadier General M L D Khumalo, Director Procurement Management of the Department of Defence, was also in attendance and encouraged members from the Free State Province to register their businesses on the Central Supplier Database.
The SANDF said its units and bases situated outside Gauteng have for the longest time struggled to source and retain local suppliers who may be interested in doing business with military units. “This is understood to have been caused by businesses’ lack of awareness of services required by those units, as well as procedures followed to provide services to the SANDF,” hence the suppliers’ day being held.
In June, the SANDF held a decentralised supplier information session for businesses in Jan Kempdorp in the Northern Cape. The town is just on 100 km from provincial capital Kimberley, also the province’s major military hub.