The NCOP’s Finance Committee has extended the deadline for written submissions on the Public Procurement Bill’s ‘B’ version to 22 February 2024. Parliamentary hearings are now scheduled to take place the following day.

This was announced in a committee notice posted unceremoniously on Parliament’s website, simply altering the dates concerned. The decision appears to have been made following a 6 February 2024 committee meeting when National Treasury briefed members on Bill.

Passed by the National Assembly on 6 December 2024, the Bill seeks to:

  • regulate public procurement, and
  • prescribe an implementation framework applicable across all government departments and public entities.

This is noting the provisions of sub-section 10(1)(b) of the Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment (B-BBEE) Act, 2003, as amended, which requires every organ of state and public entity to ‘apply any relevant code of good practice’ issued in terms of that Act when developing and implementing a preferential procurement policy.

The Bill seeks to ensure that ‘categories of preference’ stipulated in any such policy are underpinned by a commitment to ‘the protection or advancement of persons, or categories of persons, disadvantaged by unfair discrimination’. According to a memorandum on the Bill’s objects, the focus should be on ‘small enterprises; enterprises in townships, rural or underdeveloped areas; black people; women; persons with disabilities; and the youth’.

As a section 76 piece of legislation, the Bill must also be subjected to a robust public participation process in the provincial legislatures. With that in mind, it seems unlikely that it will be passed before Parliament rises for the general election.

Published by SA Legal Academy Policy Watch

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