How to apply for a government tender

Securing government tenders can provide a boost for your business. Here's how to apply for one.

Understanding how to tender is the first step in securing a government contract for your company. We speak to Gerrit Davids, director of the Taranis Empowerment Foundation, a tender training service provider in Cape Town, about preparing your business to apply for a tender and how to go about doing so.

Tender requirements
"Government procures goods and services from suppliers, irrespective whether they are a sole proprietor, closed corporation or company," explains Davids. Before applying for a tender, ensure that your company is registered on the supplier or vendor database of the relevant state entity as this is required for tender consideration. Register by contacting your local government office.

Prepare your company
There's no use in applying for a tender if your company does not have the capacity to take on the work. Ensure you are aware of exactly what's involved. "Ensure your tender is focused on the specific government requirements, has a competitive price schedule and fits in with the overall strategy of your organisation," advises Davids. "Tenders are awarded based on a score for price and preferential elements – how many historically disadvantaged people make up the supplier's organisations".

How to apply
Davids offers the following tips for apply for a tender:
- Find out what tender opportunities are available by reading the weekly tender bulletin. This is available from the government printer or online. "Suppliers can also view tenders on the websites of all metro municipalities or they can visit and view tender opportunities for free," says Davids.
- Respond to advertised tenders by collecting tender document from your local government office. Only completed original forms are accepted.
- Ensure all prices you quote are correct and that your bid document is signed.
- Suppliers must also obtain a Tax Clearance Certificate from SARS and attach the original to the tender.
- Submit your tender on time on the requested date. By law late submissions are not accepted.

Email for an extensive list of government tender opportunities.