How to Apply for Government Tenders in South Africa

| Posted in:

A business tender is an offer to work or supply goods at an agreed fixed price. The tender process is essential in ensuring that the work agreed upon is given out fairly. Tenders in South Africa can be a profitable source of income especially for small businesses if the process is done right.

How to Get Government Tenders in South Africa

To apply for government tenders in South Africa, you first need to register your business on the Central Supplier Database (CSD).  Here, you will need to complete an online registration on the National Treasury’s website and provide the necessary details.

How to Register Your Business on the Central Supplier Database (CSD)

The Central Supplier Database is the government’s list of organizations, institutions and individuals who can provide goods and services to the government. The registration procedure follows the following steps.

  • Access the CSD website and register a new CSD account. You will then receive an activation email which you will use to activate your CSD account.
  • Login to CSD and complete the supplier identification information required
  • Complete the industry classification information needed such as company name, company registration number
  • You will then need to provide contact, address, and bank details requested
  • Complete tax information and details such as Income Tax reference number and VAT number.

Once you fill in the required sections, the CSD links up with other government departments such as the South African Revenue Services, the Companies and Intellectual Property Commission, and Commercial Banks in South Africa.

Where to Find Government Tenders in South Africa

You can get government tenders by:

You can also get a list of current tenders on the following websites.

Tips for Successful Tendering in South Africa

Being highly lucrative, winning government tenders is competitive. Being exceptional in your application will help you win. You will need to do the following

  • The first step is to find government tenders relevant to your business.
  • It is best to read through the bid documents carefully, and if you are unsure of anything, ask.
  • Ensure that your business can complete the job at hand. You will need to make sure that you have the staff, skills, equipment, and the cash flow to complete the job within the stipulated timeframe.
  • Provide all the information required in the tender application. Honesty is essential as any false statement is punishable by law. You should also ensure that the certificates requested are up-to-date.
  • Ensure that the calculation of tender prices is correct and that you are within the price range.
  • It is important to sign your bid document. Failure to leads to disqualification.
  • Always keep time. Late submission of tender applications is not accepted.

How to Register for Government Tenders in South Africa

Government entities and suppliers need to follow specific procedures when they issue a request for a competitive bid or quotation. Bidding processes are governed by different Acts, including the Preferential Procurement Policy Framework Act and the Public Finance Management Act. It is essential that bidders follow the following bidding steps.

Decide Whether You Should Bid for a Contract

The tender process is all about taking risks. Being highly competitive, you might win or lose. It is best to decide whether a tender is worth bidding for or not. You can do this by analyzing the tender documents carefully, see if you and your team have the necessary skills for the job, estimate the costs of fulfilling the contract and if you can afford it, and consider the importance of your client to your business contracts.

Collection of Bidding Documentation

All advertised tenders indicate where the application documents can be collected. If it isn’t clear, you can check the tender advert and call the contact person for more details.

Attending Tender Briefing Sessions

Tender briefing sessions are essential in that suppliers get the chance to raise questions regarding the tender. Here, suppliers will know exactly what the client wants to be done. Suppliers need to make creative contributions and present viable solutions. Another way clients can give information concerning the project is through site inspections which are usually compulsory. Failure to attend leads to disqualification.

Prepare Your Bid Response

It is essential to plan your bid carefully and consider the parties involved. You will need to put the following in your tender.

  • Focus on what your client needs and state how you can help solve their problems. The client should see that you have the skill and potential to provide what they need.
  • Propose ideas to the clients. You can propose service improvements, give alternative ways of doing things, and emphasize business benefits.
  • Clearly outline your contract management strategy. It is essential to show that you can work within the stipulated time and that you have the required resources to complete the task.
  • Consider and analyze all costs involved in the contract.
  • Give details of your teams, including their strengths and their past successes in similar projects.

Compiling Your Tender Submission

Upon knowing what to include and provide in the application, it is now time to compile your tender submission. You will need to fill in specific forms that will accompany your bid.  Forms required for national and provincial business tenders include;

  • The Bid where you agree to all the tender’s terms and conditions.
  • Price and motivation. Here, you motivate your price by describing the experience of the person who will work on the tender and the service or product you will provide.
  • Tax Clearance Requirements. You will need to fill a tax clearance certificate application form and hand it in any South African Revenue Service (SARS) office so you can get a tax clearance certificate. You will then attach the original tax clearance to your bid documents.
  • Declaration of Interest. You will need to indicate whether any member of your family or friend works for the government. Filling this form is vital to avoid corruption in the tendering process.
  • Contact form. Different contracts have different contract forms that bind parties if tenders are successful.

Write a Compelling Bid

Write a compelling bid that will set you apart from others and include a cover letter responding to the bid invitation. It is best to ensure that you answer all questions in the response forms provided. You will be expected to state the purpose and origin of the bid, give a summary of your work as a contractor and credentials for the job, demonstrate your team’s skills and experience. Additionally, you need to state how you will deliver the goods and services, how you will manage the project and give details of pricing.

Deliver Your Tender

It is crucial to meet the specified deadlines when submitting tender applications. Deliver all completed and signed forms to places indicated on the tender adverts. It is at these places that the tender opening process is initiated, and respondents allowed to join the process.

Follow-Up Your Tender Submission

Upon tender submission, the adjudication process begins. The procurement team evaluates potential suppliers for shortlisting. It is best to follow-up the submission through phone calls.

Clients may need you to do a presentation or an interview for further evaluation. As such, you need to do thorough preparation and answer questions comprehensively to prove that you are best suited for the job.

Contract Awarded

The client selects the winning candidate through the evaluation process. The winning candidate can be a single company or a group of companies. The winner needs to respond to the client concerning the appointment. If you don’t win the tender, follow up and know why you were not selected. This will help you plan for future tenders.


It is essential to know that there is no guarantee to win every tender you apply for. It is best to keep checking for available government tenders in South Africa and keep applying. The next tender could be yours.


How to Register for AGPO Certificate in Kenya

Challenges Facing Women Entrepreneurs in Africa and How to Overcome


More about South Africa