NCOP briefed on Public Procurement Bill

public procurement
19 Feb 2024

The national council of provinces (NCOP) has been briefed on the Public Procurement Bill.

The national assembly passed the bill and sent it to the NCOP for concurrence in December 2023.

The bill was tabled in parliament at the end of June 2023.

National treasury published the bill’s explanatory summary in Government Gazette 48641 in May 2023.

The finance minister, Enoch Godongwana, speaking during treasury’s 2023/24 budget vote speech in May, highlighted that plans are afoot to table the bill in parliament soon.

The minister pointed out that the proposed legislation aims to ensure that the “procurement system is modernised, to provide value for money to the state, but also to be more strategic and leverage the procurement system to advance economic opportunities for historically disadvantaged people, women, young people, people with disabilities and small businesses, and to stimulate local production where feasible”.

The minister emphasised that the bill also “takes into account recommendations of the Zondo Commission, and aims to better prevent corruption, collusion, and bid-rigging in public procurement, by establishing a central procurement authority and procurement oversight bodies”.

Cabinet approved the bill in May 2023 for tabling in parliament.

In a statement, cabinet pointed out that the significance of the bill is that it “provides for the advancement of our national objectives such as transformation, the empowerment of women, youth and people with disability”.

“It also provides for promotion of localisation and supporting local innovation and research, and gives preference to procurement from small and medium enterprises in South Africa.”

The bill was published for comment in February 2020.

It aims to regulate public procurement and prescribe the framework for the procurement policy as envisaged in section 217 of the Constitution.

According to the bill’s memorandum, Section 217 of the Constitution stipulates that “procurement by organs of state and identified institutions must occur in accordance with a system which is fair, equitable, transparent, competitive and cost-effective”.

The public procurement regime in South Africa is described as currently fragmented with a number of laws regulating procurement across the public sector resulting in confusion as different procurement rules apply.

Therefore, legislation is needed which creates a single framework regulating procurement.

The bill aims to:

  • regulate public procurement;
  • prescribe a framework within which preferential procurement must be implemented; and
  • provide for matters connected therewith.

The standing committee on finance adopted the bill with amendments.

The select committee on finance sought comments on the bill until 12 February 2024.

In the briefing, treasury pointed out that the aim of the bill is to “regulate public procurement and to prescribe a framework within which preferential procurement must be implemented”.

Treasury added that it is “important and necessary, considering the history of South Africa and the developments after the Constitution took effect, to have legislation that creates a single framework regulating procurement, in line with all applicable stipulations of the Constitution and that effectively addresses the socio-economic challenges of South Africa”.

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(This article is provided for informational purposes only and not for the purpose of providing legal advice. For more information on the topic, please contact the author/s or the relevant provider.)
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