Issue Date: 
Thursday, October 31, 2019

Open and effective competition when bidding 

By Werner van Rooyen, Director of HowToTender (Pty) Ltd which specializes in tender consulting and tender training.

If one looks at the General Procurement Guidelines that National treasury issued to Government Departments, it is clear that Government wants the tender process to be fair, equitable, transparent, competitive, and cost-effective just as Section 217 of the Constitution of South Africa requires.  The Government issued these guidelines as a prescription of standards of behaviour, ethics, and accountability which it requires of its public service as well as a statement of the Government's commitment to a procurement system which enables the emergence of SMME’s.

The core principles or five principles of the procurement process in South Africa are:

  1. Value for money
  2. Open and Effective competition
  3. Ethics and Fair Dealing
  4. Accountability and Reporting
  5. Equity

The one we want to focus on today is Paragraph 2 of the General Procurement Guidelines namely “Open and Effective Competition”.  This means that everybody must have the same chance to respond to a request for quotation or bid.  These Guidelines are clear, and it states inter alia that: “Departments need to apply effort and research to get the best possible outcome from the market by ensuring that:

  1. potential suppliers have reasonable access to procurement opportunities and that available opportunities are notified at least in the Government Tender Bulletin;
  2. where market circumstances limit competition departments recognize that fact and use procurement methods that take account; of it;
  3. adequate and timely information is provided to suppliers to enable them to bid;
  4. bias and favouritism are eliminated;
  5. the costs of bidding for opportunities do not deter competent suppliers; and
  6. costs incurred in promoting competition are at least commensurate with the benefits received”.

Looking at the above it means that Government Entities must advertise their requests for quotations and bids in such a manner that the reasonable business will be able to respond to the request for quotation or bid.  Should you come across a request for quotation or bid that were not properly advertised you might want to remind that specific Government Entity about paragraph 2 in the General Procurement Guidelines.  It is our duty to make sure these Guidelines are followed.

To learn more about tenders, attend our “Become a Tender Expert” 2-Day workshops presented in Johannesburg, Pretoria, Durban, Port Elizabeth, and Cape Town.  Book and pay online at

Contact us at should you require more information.

You can also purchase a Tender Manual (Handbook) on our website which is a step by step guide how to respond to a South African Tender.  It includes examples of completed SBD forms.

Title Closing Date Tender No.
The appointment of a service provider to supply and deliver tractors, farm implements and equipments (mechanization) as and when required for the period of thirty six months (36) for Bojanala District Municipality in the North West Province. 2019-12-19 11:00 NW- TEN 02(010)2019/ 2020
Renewal of Voyagernetz software license for a period of three (03) years 2020-01-15 11:00 RFB 2023 - 2019
CATHSSETA seeks the services of a service provider to develop a fit for purpose and efficient Organisation. 2020-01-06 11:00 CATHS/ OR/ NOV/ 007/ 2019
Completion of new educational facilities for Nkululeko Senior Secondary School. 2020-01-24 12:00 CDC/ 302/ 19
Nqamakwe Magistrate Court: Construction of facilities for people with disabilities 2020-02-05 12:00 CDC/ 333/ 19
The Construction of Road K148 between roads K146 (Km 3.600) and K133 (Km 8.600) Approximately 5.000 Km,Including K148/N3 Interchange and Road K133 Between Km 11.600 and km 14.460 (2.860km). 2020-01-31 11:00 DRT 12/ 08/ 2018
Supply and installation of guardrails for a period of three (3) years 2020-02-03 11:00 DRT 01/ 04/ 2019
Preferred service provider for refrigeration & HVAC for Coega SEZ, RIC, BPO, CDC head office and NMBLP. 2020-01-30 12:00 CDC/ 522/ 19
Phase 14 Storm Damage : Repairs and Renovations to Storm Damaged Schools Throughout The Province Of KwaZulu Natal 2020-01-24 11:00 Various bid numbers
Employee Health & Wellness Services for the Department of Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation for a period of three years. 2020-01-14 12:00 DPME 18/ 2019- 20
Mqanduli Magistrate Court: Demolition of burnt building. 2020-01-28 12:00 CDC/ 371/ 19
Invitation of Bids for the Appointment of a Service Provider for the Design and Construction of The Exhibition Stand to Lease, for the Realisation of the South African Pavilion at the Mining Indaba Conference, 2020 In Cape Town, South Africa. 2020-01-16 11:00 DMR/ 005/ 2019/ 20
Appointment of various service providers for the soft services at Coega SEZ and Nelson Mandela Bay Logistics Park. 2020-01-17 12:00 CDC/ 551/ 19 ET AL
Provision of training services – seven (7) learnerships. 2020-01-27 12:00 CDC/ 600/ 19 ET AL
Terms of Reference for the Appointment of a Suitable Service Provider for the National Skills Fund That Will Prepare Project Reports to be Ready For Audit 2020-01-17 11:00 DHET132
Construction of BAIC bulk electrical overhead lines and substation. 2020-01-31 12:00 CDC/ 619/ 19
Provision of Professional Services on Municipal Institutional Support 2020-01-15 11:00 COGTA4/ 2/ 2- 2019/ RFP/ 05
Appointment of a Panel of Governance Experts to Assist Municipalities on Governance Related Matters 2020-01-23 12:00 ZNT 1978/ 2019 LG
Provision for canteen and catering services at UNHCR Pretoria office 2019-12-20 16:00 RFP/RSA/SU/11.03/2019
Supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) system for the Coega Special Economic Zone (SEZ) and the associated measuring instruments. 2020-01-30 12:00 CDC/ 587/ 19


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