COSATU welcomes Parliament’s adoption of the long awaited Public Procurement Bill

The Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU) welcomes the Parliament’s adoption of the long-awaited Public Procurement Bill.  This critical Bill lays the foundation for a single public procurement system across the entire state, e.g. departments, municipalities, entities and State-Owned Enterprises. 


Currently there is not a single public procurement legislative framework and consequently the situation in many state institutions is open to abuse and corruption.  The existing legislative gaps were brought to a fore in 2022 when the Constitutional Court declared that Treasury lacked the legislative powers to set local content and Broad Based Black Economic Empowerment public procurement criteria.  The Zondo Commission heard countless evidence of how our leaky public procurement systems enable widespread corruption and wasteful expenditure.

COSATU engaged extensively with Treasury and Organised Business on the Bill at Nedlac and in Parliament.  We reached consensus on the majority of the Bill’s provisions.  We welcome the Bill’s:

  • Establishing a single public procurement framework for the entire state.  This will enable common standards to be established across often-fragmented government institutions.
  • Requiring public procurement processes take into account and support local content and BBBEE.  This is key to supporting and creating local jobs and transforming our still racially skewed economy.
  • Establishing a single online site where all tender information will be available to the public.  This will shine a massive spotlight on the murky world of tenders and help expose and discourage corruption.
  • Enabling the centralised procurement of certain key items to help the state save badly needed revenue.
  • Empowering the Chief Procurement Office in Treasury to intervene and halt public procurement that falls foul of the law.  This will be a powerful tool to tackle often openly corrupt tenders.

We are pleased with the National Council of Provinces’ amendments to the Bill strengthening its anti-corruption provisions as well as:

  • Requiring the public disclosure and recording of any relatives of politically influential persons who receive tenders as a way of preventing the abuse of public procurement by persons in senior office. 
  • Elevating local content into a requirement for public procurement.  This is key to protecting and growing local industries and badly needed jobs.

We remain concerned that the Bill is not sufficiently binding upon local government where many municipalities struggle with procurement corruption.  We however welcome the agreement with Parliament that this is a foundation Bill, and that government must revert back to Nedlac and Parliament within 24 months with regulations and a supplementary Bill to further strengthen and enhance the Bill’s provisions.

We look forward to President Cyril Ramaphosa’s assenting to this progressive Bill.  It will play a key role in tackling corruption and supporting local procurement and jobs.  This is a massive step forward by the African National Congress led government to cleanse and renew the state and spur the economy.

Issued by COSATU

For further information please contact:

Matthew Parks

Acting National Spokesperson & Parliamentary Coordinator

Cell: 082 785 0687


Cape Town, South Africa