THE LEGALITY OF CENTRALISED PUBLIC PROCUREMENT IN SOUTH AFRICA
Keywords: public procurement reform, centralisation
AbstractThe reform of public procurement at an operational level has been high on the agenda of the South African National Treasury and is illustrated by the incremental introduction of centralised features into the South African procurement system. To ensure lawful reform this paper seeks to determine the legal parameters of centralising the South African procurement system at an operational level by analysing the ruling regulatory framework and case law. This paper clarifies the current challenges faced by South Africa in public procurement taking into account the Annual Reports of Provincial and Local Government as well as material findings of the Auditor-General. Further, this paper examines the underlying reasons for centralising and decentralising procurement systems and the practical issues experienced by foreign jurisdictions in implementing such systems as well as its effect on bidding markets. It is proposed that an analysis of the ruling regulatory framework and relevant case law should guide the finding that lawful centralisation is limited and the promulgation of legislation introducing prominent centralised features should be closely scrutinised against the constitutional provisions relating to local government and public finance management.
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