Issue Date: 
Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Difference Between a RFI, RFQ and RFP

We are regularly asked what the difference is between a Request for Information (RFI), a Request for Proposal (RFP) and a Request for Quote (RFQ).

"RFX" is a term used, to refer to all 'Request For…' documents used to solicit responses, of various types, from suppliers. The three common documents are:

  • Request for Information (RFI)
  • Request for Proposal (RFP)
  • Request for Quote (RFQ)

According to the Government's eTenders portal ( the differences between RFQ's, RFI's and RFP's are as follows:

Request for Information (RFI)

An RFI is generally used when the solution to a business problem is not immediately evident or clearly defined. The RFI is used to gather information, NOT to make a selection or an award.
The Supply Chain Management Unit works with the Customer to:

  • Clearly describe the problem;
  • Solicit external expertise regarding how to solve the problem;
  • Study proposed solutions.

Request for Proposal (RFP)

An RFQ is used when the Customer understands the business problem and what's needed to solve it, including specifications and procedures. Price is usually not the determining factor in the evaluation of an RFP. Factors such as quality, service, and reputation are also taken into consideration.

Request for Quote (RFQ)

An RFQ is generally used to obtain pricing, delivery information, terms and conditions from suppliers. In this case, requestors have a clear understanding of what they need, including requirements and specifications. To procure the exact product or service needed, the Customer provides the Supply Chain Management Unit with as much information as possible, including complete specifications, quantities, and delivery schedule.

The common thread between all three types of "RFX" documents is that the Customer/Government Entity is not obliged to appoint a service provider on the results from issuing any of these requests. The best way to know that a tender award will be made is when you respond to a formal quotation or a competitive bid.

Normally a formal quotation will be for goods or services with a value of between R30,000-00 and R200,000-00 and a competitive bid will be for goods or services with a value exceeding R200,000-00.

To learn all you need to know to respond to tenders correctly, and hopefully successfully attend our How-to-Tender workshops. Visit our website to find out more and to register. For more information on the tender courses please email Werner at

This article was written by Werner van Rooyen, Director of HowToTender (Pty) Ltd. which specializes in tender consulting and tender training.

Title Closing Date Tender No.
Female Tights Black x 472 2018-10-23 11:00 ZNQ 226/ 2018/ 19
Sport Bra’s (Pink) x 470 2018-10-23 11:00 ZNQ 223/ 2018/ 19
Golf T-Shirt X 1416 2018-10-23 11:00 ZNQ 228/ 2018/ 19
Male Briefs Black X 1507 2018-10-23 11:00 KwaZulu-Natal: Department of Health: EKUHLENGENI PSYCHIATRIC HOSPITAL
Crocks (Navy) x 708 2018-10-23 11:00 ZNQ 229/ 2018/ 19
South African Police Service: KwaMsane: Repairs and Renovations 2018-11-07 11:00 DBN18/ 10/ 01
Supply and Install - 1 Water Level Indicator on the Hospital Concrete Reservoir 2018-10-24 11:00 ZNQ 576/ 18
Mechanical Work In Various Buildings 2018-10-24 11:00 ZNQ 577/ 18
Mechanical Work - Air Conditioning and Ventilation Installation. 2018-10-24 11:00 ZNQ 578/ 18
4 Units - to Remove Existing Window Frame and Replace with a Sliding Window 2018-10-24 11:00 ZNQ 518/ 18
Appointment of a contractor for the construction of additional new facilities at Vooruitsig Primary School in Kimberley, for Northern Cape Department of Education 2018-11-02 11:00 NC/ DE/ 001/ 2018 - 2019
Renovation of Family Quarters of House Number 4 Second Street, Air Force Base Waterkloof 2018-11-12 11:00 LDPU/ RWUGP/ B/ 018/ 2018
Renovating of Glass house, Green house and Net Structure for the Insect Mass rearing facility project for the ARC-PHP 2018-11-06 11:00 ARC/ 18/ 10/ 18
CapeNature hereby request invite knowledgeable and qualified service providers to quote and attend a Tender Briefing Session, on implementing an e-Procurement Solution that integrates with SAP, which is the primary finance application; based on a set business requirement specification to manage compliance and achievements of project deliverables in terms of quality and timeframes 2018-11-16 11:00 WCNCB 02/ 10/ 2018
Appointment of a service provider to provide Office Furniture for the South African Tourism 2018-11-05 12:00 SAT 134/ 18
Disposal or Recycling of Used Oil at South African Police Service Garages for a period of two (02) years years 2018-11-09 11:00 19/ 1/ 9/ 1/ 105TV (17)
The RAF would like to appoint an experienced and suitably qualified service provider to provide leasing of office space for Kimberly Customer Service Centre Office for a period of five (5) years. 2018-11-05 11:00 RAF/ 2018/ 00046
Appointment of a Professional Service Provider for Partitioning of New Offices for Office of Health Standards Compliance. 2018-10-29 11:00 OHSC/ 07/ OCT/ 2018
Management and Maintenance services of CCTV Surveillance, Access Control and Intruder Alarm Systems 2018-11-02 11:00 NSG/ BID/ 05/ 2018/ 19
Provision of Travel Management Services for NSG for a period of three years 2018-11-02 11:00 NSG/ BID/ 06/ 2018/ 19


Advantages and disadvantages of Consortiums

Consortiums are often considered as entities to use when responding to tenders in South Africa. The question that arises is whether to use a Consortium or a Joint Venture when responding to a tender. To help you with this we have compiled a list of advantages and disadvantages for both Consortiums as well as Joint Ventures. In this article we list the advantages and disadvantages of Consortiums. Look out for the same article on Joint Ventures.

Consortiums Advantages:

  • Easy to establish as there are no formal procedures... Read More
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