Academic journal article Gender & Behaviour

How Effective Affirmative Tender Procurements Assist Women Entrepreneurs Operating in Small Business in South Africa

Academic journal article Gender & Behaviour

How Effective Affirmative Tender Procurements Assist Women Entrepreneurs Operating in Small Business in South Africa

Article excerpt

The introduction of the Broad Based Black Economic Empowerment policy Act of 2003 was presented by government to enable women, blacks, youth and the disabled to take business opportunities to start and grow their businesses. The South African Women Entrepreneurship Network was also established as a buying basket to lobby all women to speak in one voice when conducting businesses. These were as a result of a mechanism to redress the socioeconomic impetus of the past policies on women which imposed oppression and exploitation on women, especially African women. This study focuses on how effective affirmative tender procurements are, in assisting women entrepreneurs operating in small business sector. The study also intends to establish who are the patronisers of these procurements and document the problems women face in accessing these affirmative tenders. The data of the survey is analysed using the quantitative approach. The findings indicate that tender documents are not useful in empowering black women entrepreneurs. The study concludes by providing recommendations to the City of Tshwane, South Africa.

Key words: Women entrepreneurs, Tender documents, government, programmes and Policies.

The City of Tshwane is the capital city of South Africa. It contributes 8.46% to the GDP of South Africa. It is the third highest to Johannesburg and Cape Town. It is a home for 2.2 million people and occupies only 1.4% of the land surface of the countiy. It is a fast growing city and has an average growth rate above the national average. At the same time, unemployment and poverty have increased. Thus, the strategy of the B-BBEE Act is intended to create a system that will enable more black business especially bringing women into the economic mainstream (Mancqu, 2000). South Africa, like all other African countries in the Diaspora, is confronted with poverty alleviation that continues to reap the dignity of our societies. Black women were the most affected and they were the victims of the past policies. Eradicating poverty on women is associated with shared economic growth that will enhance economic acceleration (DTI, 2003:15).

Despite the promulgation of the National Small Business Amendment Act No 29 of 2004, its implementation is low in South Africa. According to Kew (Kew et al, 2009), the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM) and the Total Entrepreneurial Activity (TEA) Reports indicate that the percentage of individuals between the age of 18 and 64 who are starting or operating an SM ME in South Africa is low. Women in particular blacks, continues to lack behind as compared to their male counterpart (Botha, 2006:19).

The national government provides a broad policy framework for economic advancement of all South Africans. Provision is also made for the advancement of previously disadvantaged people. Black women are a significant part of the previously disadvantaged groups in South Africa. The Broad Based Black Economic Empowerment Act, 2003 (Act 53 of 2003) represents government bold step to redress the past imbalances. A code of good practice was gazetted on the 9th Februaiy 2007. In other words, the code of Good Practice assists and advices public and private sectors in the implementations of the B-BBEE Act, 2003. The code provides definitions, interpretations, and principles of B-BBEE, different categories of B-BBEE entities and qualifications for preferential procurement and other related economic activities (South Africa)

In this article, the focus of the study is on probing how effective are the affirmative tender procurement in assisting black women to start and grow their businesses. The article also intends to establish who, patronise the tenders if the majority of black women entrepreneurs do not utilises them. The study will also investigate why SAWEN is not effective in empowering women entrepreneurs, as was the reason for its establishment. The article will report on the results of a study that was conducted in determining the effectiveness of government policies in emancipating black women and poverty eradication through affirmative tender procurement. …

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