In line with the Constitutional mandate to ensure the protection or advancement of persons, categories of persons or groups previously disadvantaged by unfair competition or discrimination, the government has put in place enabling legislation to promote the participation of disadvantaged and marginalized groups in public procurement. The National Public Procurement and Asset Disposal Policy; the Public Procurement and Asset Disposal Act, 2015 (the Act); and the Public Procurement and Asset Disposal Regulations, 2020 (the Regulations) contain the policy statements, guiding principles and procedures for the application of preference and reservation schemes.

Section 157 (17) of the Act and Regulation 146 of the Regulations, mandates the National Treasury to register a small, micro and medium enterprise or a disadvantaged group wishing to participate in public procurement. In addition, Regulation 145 (3) of the Regulations directs that all small, micro and medium enterprise groups or disadvantaged groups registered by the National Treasury shall automatically be included in the list of registered suppliers of a procuring entity upon submission of the National Treasury Registration Certificate.

However, it has come to the attention of the Authority that procuring entities are subjecting enterprises and groups registered under the AGPO program to another registration process by requiring them to submit registration documents for the purpose of their inclusion in the entities list of registered suppliers. It is against this background that we issue this Circular for the purpose of reminding all the Accounting Officers and Heads of Procuring entities of the need to ensure adherence to the aforementioned provisions of the procurement law when conducting registration of suppliers.

All Accounting Officers and Heads of Procuring Entities are required to note and bring the contents of this Circular to the attention of all officers involved in public procurement and asset disposal activities within their jurisdiction.

You can download the official circular below: