Gauteng Business News

Send  Share  RSS  Twitter  22 Jun 2010

TENDERS: Tenders - Know the Rules and Submit on Time.


Recent Gauteng Business News

Tendering to government can be a minefield for the uninitiated bidder when submitting a formal proposal or bid. Different levels of government apply different rules and there are exceptions to those too. For example, did you know that special rules can apply for certain commodities such as IT goods and services, banking and consulting services? Smart Procurement’s Elaine Porteous provides a few guidelines to make tendering for Government business a little easier.

The difference between government and private sector proposals is most evident in the strict use of the procedures used by government. Private sector companies can be more flexible with their closing dates and with the use of creative negotiation techniques and they can have many different methods of contracting with suppliers.

However, there are many Acts, regulations and Treasury directives relating to procurement policy and processes at all levels of government in South Africa. Some of these are enshrined in the Constitution so it pays to be familiar with the rules. Understanding what is a non-negotiable requirement in the tender or Request for Proposal (RFP) and what is merely a request for optional supporting documents can be the difference between success and failure.

Smart Procurement hosted a one-day event last week, in association with Deloitte Consulting, primarily directed at procurement specialists working within the government. The aim was to provide them with more clarity and understanding around the legislation and guidelines that they have to adhere to. This is good news for bidders – the better the quality and content of the tender documents you receive, the better your submissions will be.

Consider the following to make your bid preparation process flow more smoothly:
• When preparing bids do face all the statutory and compulsory forms first – these can take more time to prepare than you think

• A written tax clearance from SARS is compulsory in government bids and is becoming increasingly requested by private sector companies too.

• Municipalities and metros will insist on evidence that you don’t owe on your utility bills and for high ticket items they will ask about any other existing contracts that you have with government and whether you have failed to deliver in the past.

Also, if you are actively seeking more work, Government tenders are required to be advertised in the Government Tender Bulletin. Go to these sites every Friday for new tenders:


A basic understanding of the rules relating to the entity that you wish to enter into business with is recommended. Start with the Public Finance Management Act (PFMA) of 1999 which should give you a head start on the competition.

nFold has recently launched an outsourced Bid Centre that can provide you with a review of your recent proposals which may not have had the desired result. We can also work with you to redraft any of your proposals using best practice proposal techniques.

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