Govt cracks modernisation whip on public procurement

Simnikiwe Mzekandaba
By Simnikiwe Mzekandaba, IT in government editor
Johannesburg, 01 Nov 2023
National Treasury and partners are working towards modernising government’s procurement system.
National Treasury and partners are working towards modernising government’s procurement system.

MTBPS 2023: National Treasury is working with the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development, World Bank and African Development Bank on modernising government’s procurement system.

Furthermore, an assessment of the procurement system, using an objective international tool, is under way, says finance minister Enoch Godongwana, delivering the 2023 Medium-Term Budget Policy Statement today.

According to Godongwana, 16 public procuring institutions are involved, together with civil society organisations, the private sector and labour. “The findings and recommendations will be widely consulted, validated and used to inform future reforms.

“To support the well-functioning of our public institutions, we have reviewed all the National Treasury supply chain management instructions to identify which ones are applicable to schedule two entities.”

South Africa’s public procurement challenges are well-documented, with mounting calls for sound and strengthened procurement practices amid rising levels of corruption.

The finance minister added that a Public Procurement Bill has been tabled.

The Bill, he explained, seeks to create a single regulatory public procurement framework that strengthens the integrity of the procurement system, enhances transparency and promotes transformation.

It further empowers procuring institutions to make their procurement system based on uniform norms and standards that the Bill prescribes, he stated, noting the all-in-one approach has not worked.

“The Bill went through an extensive consultation process in government and with social partners. It considered the recommendations of the Zondo Commission and the president’s response to Parliament thereto.

“We are supporting the Parliamentary processes that are considering the Bill and we look forward to the outcomes.

“The Bill will not solve all our procurement challenges, but it will make it easier for honest officials to procure and make it difficult for the corrupt to prevail.”