Issue Date: 
Thursday, October 31, 2019

Sub-contractors versus Consortiums and Joint Ventures

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

The Preferential Procurement Regulations, 2017 states that, if it is feasible, 30% of all Government Contracts above R30 million must be sub-contracted to specific categories of SMME’s.  These SMME’s include, but are not limited to, black female owned and black youth owned businesses.

To help with the confusion that arises from whether one must form a Joint Venture, Consortium or sub-contractor/contractor relationship when responding to a tender it is always good to understand the definition of these types of business relationships:

  • A sub-contractor/contractor relationship arises when a main contractor hires or employs additional businesses or persons outside of the main contractors own business to do work or to deliver services as part of a larger project.  The important thing to remember is that the main contractor is in charge and must ensure that the project is executed and completed as stipulated in the contract.
  • A consortium is an association of two or more individuals, companies, or organisations with the objective of participating in a common activity, such as responding to a tender, or pooling their resources to achieve a common goal.  Within the consortium, each participant retains their separate legal status and the consortium’s control over each participant is limited to activities involving the joint endeavour, particularly the division of profits.  A consortium is formed by contract.
  • A Joint Venture can be described as a business enterprise where two or more participants come together to share their expertise to win a specific contract for a set period.  A Joint Venture is a separate entity and is not part of the individual participant’s own enterprise.  Therefor a Joint Venture must have its own set of rules by which it is managed, and this is called a Joint Venture Agreement.

To become a sub-contractor, you will have to have a running business.  Main contractors will only use dependable sub-contractors with a proven track record.

To learn more about this and many other tender conditions 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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