Empowerment ben­e­fits

Finweek English Edition - - Healthcare -

LONG PUNTED as an ideal mech­a­nism to al­le­vi­ate the bur­den on South Africa’s be­lea­guered pub­lic health sec­tor, pub­lic pri­vate part­ner­ships (PPPs) not only have a sig­nif­i­cant so­cio-eco­nomic im­pact but also con­sid­er­ably en­hance broad-based black eco­nomic empowerment.

“As south­ern Africa’s largest pri­vate hospi­tal group, Net­care ac­tively pur­sues PPP op­por­tu­ni­ties in joint ven­tures with emerg­ing and ex­ist­ing empowerment com­pa­nies and com­mu­ni­ties. We don’t only part­ner Gov­ern­ment but also ac­tively in­volve the com­mu­nity and lo­cal black-owned SMMEs to help with the construction and other ser­vice de­liv­ery out­comes of ev­ery PPP project,” says Dr Vic­tor Litl­hakanyane, Net­care’s di­rec­tor for group stake­holder re­la­tions.

Net­care is cur­rently in­volved in long-term, co-lo­ca­tion com­mit­ments through three for­mal PPPs: - ment, a spe­cial pur­pose ve­hi­cle (SPV) com­pany that en­tered into a con­ces­sion agree­ment with the Free State Depart­ment of Health in 2001. This PPP en­tails the co-lo­ca­tion of pri­vate beds, the­atres and ICU fa­cil­i­ties at the Univer­si­tas and Pelonomi pub­lic hos­pi­tals in Bloem­fontein for a pe­riod of 21 years. SPV – en­tered into a PPP agree­ment with the gov­ern­ment of Le­sotho for Africa’s largest health­care PPP in that coun­try, a project that en­tails build­ing a 390-bed hospi­tal to re­place the age­ing Queen El­iz­a­beth II in Maseru, re­fur­bish­ing three pri­mary clin­ics and the run­ning of pri­mary and ter­tiary care clin­i­cal ser­vices. SPV com­pany that in May 2007 en­tered into a PPP agree­ment with the East­ern Cape Depart­ment of Health to re­build and re­fur­bish the Port Al­fred and Set­tlers hos­pi­tals re­spec­tively. Mari Bruwer, MD of Net­care’s PPPs, says: “The other 50% share­hold­ing in Nalithemba are East­ern Cape­based health pro­fes­sion­als and lo­cal en­trepreneurs. As much as 40% of the construction and 50% of the on­go­ing op­er­a­tional ex­pen­di­ture will go to black­owned or em­pow­ered en­ter­prises.”

Bruwer ex­plains the ad­van­tages of empowerment: “First, the eq­uity share of your empowerment part­ners pro­vides them with a long-term in­vest­ment op­por­tu­nity that will de­liver an at­trac­tive re­turn. The part­ners usu­ally also serve as direc­tors on the boards of the SPV and hold man­age­ment posts in the PPP struc­ture. From there the empowerment pos­i­tives 1lter down even fur­ther to the many op­por­tu­ni­ties cre­ated for empowerment con­tract­ing com­pa­nies and sub­con­trac­tors in the lo­cal­ity of the PPP, the train­ing and trans­fer of skills to com­mu­nity mem­bers and job cre­ation in ar­eas where not many em­ploy­ment op­por­tu­ni­ties usu­ally ex­ist.

“Rev­enue is in­creased for lo­cal con­trac­tors, who can now ex­tend ser­vices – such as plumb­ing and elec­tri­cal ser­vices – to fur­ther un­re­lated projects. It also en­cour­ages the lo­cal sourc­ing of ba­sic prod­ucts, which pro­vides fur­ther op­por­tu­ni­ties for in­creased rev­enue for lo­cal busi­nesses.”

Bruwer adds: “We have to de­velop and ‘up-skill’ share­hold­ers in terms of di­rec­tor­ship re­spon­si­bil­i­ties, such as 1duciary du­ties, man­age­ment in the SPV and man­age­rial posts within the hospi­tal. A great deal of skills’ trans­fer also takes place re­lat­ing to the construction process, as hos­pi­tals and clin­ics have very speci1c build­ing re­quire­ments, and with re­la­tion to spe­cial­ists ser­vices, in­clud­ing laun­dry, clean­ing and ca­ter­ing.”

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from South Africa

© PressReader. All rights reserved.