National Treasury committed to transformation, empowerment

Tuesday, November 8, 2022

Government remains wholly committed to transformation and empowerment as envisioned in the Constitution, says Finance Minister Enoch Godongwana.

The Minister made the commitment during a press briefing on Tuesday on the new Preferential Procurement Regulations (2022 Regulations) under the Preferential Procurement Policy Framework Act, 2000 (PPPFA), which he gazetted on Friday.

He said the Regulations were aimed at aligning the regulations to the February 2022 Constitutional Court judgement. The judgement ruled that the Minister exceeded his powers in prescribing the 2017 Regulations.

“Organs of state must comply with the BBBEE Act when developing their procurement policies,” said Godongwana. “Procurement is a complex and highly contested arena in South Africa. Much of it is steeped in legalese and technical language. It is no accident that the Zondo Commission published a dedicated report on public procurement and made significant findings.”

The Minister said the purpose of the 2022 Regulations was to comply with Section 217 of the Constitution on procurement of goods and services by organs of state and comply with the PPPFA of 2000.

While National Treasury was finalising the Public Procurement Bill, which will empower the Minister of Finance to set preferential procurement, the 2022 Regulations repeal the 2017 Regulations and take effect on 16 January 2023, Godongwana said.

“In essence the 2022 Regulations, are a placeholder while we finalise the Bill,” he said.

Among other things, in terms of the 2022 Regulations, an organ of state must, in the tender documents, stipulate the applicable preference point system as envisaged in the regulations; and the specific goals in the invitation to submit the tender for which points may be awarded.

In this instance, said the Minister, “the specific goals are as contemplated in section 2(1)(d) of the Act which may include contracting with persons, or categories of persons, historically disadvantaged by unfair discrimination on the basis of race, gender and disability including the implementation of programmes of the Reconstruction and Development Programme as published in Government Gazette No. 16085 dated 23 November 1994”.

“The above, and other parts of the 2022 Regulations, are in line with the Constitutional Court judgement. Organs of state, must determine their own preferential procurement policies in accordance with section 2 of the PPPFA and the thresholds and formula prescribed in the 2022 Regulations.

“Organs of state are currently applying the 2017 Regulations as per clarification of the Constitutional Court until the 2022 Regulations take effect on 16 January 2023. It should be noted that these Regulations deal with preferential procurement in terms of the PPPFA.”

Godongwana said the new 2022 Regulations require organs of state in the development of their procurement policies to also consider specific the programmes stipulated in the Reconstruction and Development Programme as published in Government Gazette No. 16085 dated 23 November 1994 and provides for points to be awarded for specific goals.

“In addition to maximising value-for-money objectives, a further objective is to regulate preferential procurement anew in the draft Public Procurement Bill (among others repealing the PPPFA) and, as announced during the MTBPS, is to be introduced in Parliament by March 2023,” he said. –