How to get tenders
In South Africa (like most other countries), the government is one of the largest procurers of goods and services. For a small business, getting work from the government can be a great source of growth and sustainable income.
Government departments publish tenders regularly in order to find companies to assist with completing projects.
We have listed steps below which you can follow to get a better understanding of how tenders work and how you can apply for them.
Step 1: Register Your company
Departments and other companies prefer working with registered companies. Registering a company is an easy process and only takes around 5 working days.
Read More: Company Registration
Step 2: Get a COID letter of good standing
A COID letter of good standing confirms that your company employees are covered for any injuries. It’s a requirement for any type of tender.
Read More: COID Letter of Good Standing
Step 3: SARS tax clearance certificate
All companies that apply for tenders must be up-to-date with their SARS tax returns. A tax clearance certificate (pin) is used by departments to confirm your company’s tax compliance status at SARS.
Read More: Tax Clearance Certificate (Pin)
Step 4: Central Supplier Database
All companies applying for tenders must be registered on the Central Supplier Database (CSD). Once registered, the CSD department will inform you of any available tenders that your company can apply for.
Read More: CSD Registration
Step 5: B-BBEE Affidavit/Certificate
A B-BBEE affidavit or certificate is required for some tenders in order for the department to confirm your company’s B-BBEE status.
Read More: B-BBEE Affidavit
These are the basic requirements for getting your documents tender-ready. Some specific types of companies do require additional steps:
- Read More: How to start a construction company
- Read More: How to start a cleaning company
- Read More: How to start a security company
Step 6: Applying for a tender
You will receive an application form from the department that published the tender which you would have to complete and send back to the department.
Tenders normally require the following information:
- The company’s business plan
- Company profile
- Directors’ ID copies
You would also have to submit a bid to confirm the amount that your company would require in order to complete the project. The maximum amount that you can bid will be listed on the application.
Departments will shortlist candidates and have meetings with their preferred candidates to decide which company would best fit their requirements.
Here are a few expert tips when applying for tenders:
- Always make sure that your company documents are in order before applying for a tender.
- Keep your CIPC annual returns and SARS tax returns up to date, tenders will not be awarded to companies that aren’t compliant.
- Apply for more than one tender at the same time, it will improve your chances.
- You can ask for a debriefing should your tender application be rejected. It’ll be useful to find out why a department has rejected your application or bid.
- Work on private projects or jobs whilst you’re waiting for a tender. Departments prefer companies with experience.
- Understanding tenders that you’re applying for is extremely important, always make sure that you read the entire application to ensure that the tender is right for your company.
These steps and tips should give you a better understanding of the process and how to successfully apply for tenders.