Government Tenders for Small Business

Updated on 13 April 2022

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Government Tenders

Securing government tenders can result in a major opportunity for any business. While this may seem like something reserved for major enterprises, government tenders are available to small businesses in South Africa.

Awarding these businesses with government tenders is one of the ways that the government drives the development of small businesses.

In this quick guide, we cover everything you need to know about government tenders for small businesses in South Africa.

How Do You Qualify for Government Tenders?

All kinds of government tenders are available to small businesses in South Africa. With the right tender application and relevant industry experience, it’s possible to successfully qualify for a government tender.

Once you have found government tenders that are relevant to your business, you can put forward your tender application.

Small businesses can find available tenders in the government’s weekly tender bulletin, advertised online on department websites, in newspapers, or even through a tender notification service.

If the tender matches what your business does, you will need to make sure you understand exactly what is required for the tender and ensure you can fulfill this.

To apply for government tenders, you will need to do the following:

  • Carefully analyze the bid documents and ensure you can fulfill this
  • Put together your tender submission. This includes the bid you put in, what your price is, and motivating your price by describing exactly what you will do and why your business will be a good fit
  • Supply all necessary supporting documentation. This includes a tax clearance certificate, a declaration of interest, a preference certificate, a contact form, and more

How Do You Get Small Tenders?

Tenders are open to any relevant business that can fulfill the job. As a small business, you can apply for government tenders, and win them, as long as you meet all of the necessary requirements.

First, ensure taking on the tender makes sense to your business. Understand exactly what it would involve and produce a realistic bid that would work for your business. Never bid for something you won’t be able to follow through on.

If your bid is successful, your small business can win the tender.

How Do You Apply for a Tender in a Private Company?

Government tenders aren’t the only ones available. You can also apply for private sector contracts in much the same way.

First, make sure you have notifications set up to find these tenders in the first place. Understand the bidding process, and make sure you prepare a bid that makes sense.

Get your pricing right, differentiate your business and your bid from the competition, and make sure you understand every specific requirement that the client is looking for.

Finally, make your tenders personal. People like to work with people over companies, so ensure you put yourself forward in your bid.

What Do You Need to Apply for a Tender in South Africa?

To apply for government tenders in South Africa, your business will need the following documentation:

  • Tax clearance certificate
  • Standard Bidding Document 4 (SBD 4) – Declaration of interest
  • Standard Bidding Document 6.1 (SBD 6.1) – Preference Points
  • B-BBEE Certificate
  • Standard Bidding Document 8 (SBD 8) – Past Supply Chain Management Practices
  • Standard Bidding Document 9 (SBD 9) – Certificate of Independent Bid Determination

These are essential documents for applying for government tenders, but chances are you may need additional documentation as well. This could include things like:

  • Company registration documents
  • Copy of shareholders’ certificates
  • Three years’ worth of audited financial statements
  • Letter of guarantee from a registered financial institution
  • Letter of Good Standing with the Department of Labour for Unemployment Insurance Fund;
  • Letter of Good Standing with the Department of Labour for Compensation for Occupational Injuries and Diseases.
  • Proof of compliance with the relevant industry regulator
  • Proof of public indemnity cover

How Do I Start a Tender Business?

Start by understanding the types of tenders that are available and relevant to your business. Keep an eye out on departments’ websites, and understand the exact requirements of what these tenders involve.

Then make sure your business can meet these requirements. There are various SME funding opportunities, and even township funding schemes, that small businesses can access to help them scale up.

Then make sure your business is in compliance with all of the relevant requirements and documentation that the tender application will need.

Government tenders can be lucrative opportunities for small businesses. By staying aware of relevant government tenders, putting in well-planned proposals, and ensuring your business matches the necessary requirements, securing a government tender could help your small business enormously.


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