• Chanel Maas
Keywords: public procurement law, procurement law reform


The current remedy regime of the public procurement system of South Africa has left much to be desired as compared to what the UNCITRAL Model Law on Public Procurement suggests as an international standard. With the world-wide COVID-19 pandemic shining a spotlight on government procurement systems and their failures, and extensive allegations of extreme malfeasance in public procurement of various emergency requirements in South Africa in response to the pandemic, an effective remedy regime has never been more important. This article explores some of the major failures of the current South African remedies regime against the backdrop of the UNCITRAL Model Law and the recently published draft Public Procurement Bill, 2020. It argues that although the draft Bill provides some solutions, there are several issues that must still be addressed before the draft Bill can be enacted. The draft Bill shows promise by attempting to clarify the hierarchy of remedies available internally and externally, by introducing the Public Procurement Tribunal and Regulator and creating new compensation claims available to bidders. However, the independence of these new institutions, the continued fragmentation of the available remedies, the lack of review or reconsideration procedures for local government, the problems faced by courts in choosing the appropriate remedy out of the numerous available to them, and more, remains to be addressed. It is argued that the Bill should be closer aligned to the Model Law, especially with regards to a stand-still period between contract award and conclusion.


Chapters in edited collections

Laing, J. 2018. The standstill period in South African public procurement. In: Williams-Elegbe, S. & Quinot, G. (Eds.) 2018. Public Procurement Regulation for 21st Century Africa. Cape Town: JUTA.

Theses or dissertations

De la Harpe, S. 2009. Public Procurement Law: A Comparative Analysis. LLD. University of South Africa.

Udeh, K. 2018. A comparative study of the effectiveness of bidder remedies in South Africa and Nigeria. LLD. University of South Africa.

Official publications

Special Investigating Unit, 2021. Investigation into the procurement of, or contracting for goods, works and services, including the construction, refurbishment, leasing, occupation and use of immovable property, during, or in respect of the National State of Disaster, as declared by Government Notice No 313 of 15 March 2020, by or on behalf of the State Institutions. South Africa: Public Report 548103.

Bills, draft legislation, proclamations, regulations and other documents published in the Government Gazette

Municipal Supply Chain Management Regulations. 2005. GN 868 in GG 27636 of 30 5-2005.

Preferential Procurement Regulations. 2017. GN R32 in GG 40553 of 20-1-2017.

Draft Public Procurement Bill. 2020. GN 94 in GG 43030 of 19-02-2020.

Treasury Regulations. 2005. GN R225 in GG 27388 of 15-03-2005.

Journal articles

Anthony, A. 2019. Standard of care and liability of public officials: blessing or curse? Obiter, 3, 140-153.

Arrowsmith, S. & Butler, L. 2020. Introduction to the Special Issue on Public Procurement and COVID-19. Public Procurement Law Review, 4, 159-160.

Arrowsmith, S. 2004. Public Procurement: An Appraisal of the UNCITRAL Model Law as a Global Standard. International and Comparative Law Quarterly, 53, 17-46.

Bolton, P. 2008. The Public Procurement System in South Africa: Main Characteristics. Public Contract Law Journal, 37, 781-802.

De La Harpe, S. 2015. Procurement Under the UNICTRAL Model Law: A Southern African Perspective. Potchefstroomse Elektroniese Regsblad, 18, 1572-1601.

Moss, S. 2020. Supporting Developing Countries in Responding to the Challenge of the COVID-19 Pandemic: The Operation of the World Bank’s Procurement Function. Public Procurement Law Review, 4, 180-188.

Myers, J. 1993. UNCITRAL Model Law on Procurement. International Business Lawyer, 21, 179-182.

Quinot, G. 2011. Enforcement of Procurement Law from a South African Perspective. Public Procurement Law Review, 20, 193-208.

Quinot, G. 2020. Reforming procurement law in South Africa. African Public Procurement Law Journal, 7, 1-15.

Quinot, G. 2009. Towards Effective Judicial Review of State Commercial Activity. Journal of South African Law, 3, 436-449.

Udeh, K. 2016. Viability of Bidder Remedies Under section 62 of the South African Municipal Systems Act. African Public Procurement Law Journal, 72, 1-22.

Volmink, P. 2014. Legal Consequences of Non-Compliance with Bid Remedies. African Public Procurement Law Journal, 41, 1-21.

Wallace, D. 2006. UNCITRAL: Reform of the model procurement law Public Contract Law Journal, 35, 485-494.

Reports, company issued documents, information booklets and similar documents

United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL). 2014. Guide to Enactment of the UNCITRAL Model Law on Public Procurement. [online] Available at: <> (Accessed: 04-03-2020).


Department of Health: SIU v Fabkomp (Pty) (Ltd) and Others (EC04/2020).

Millennium Waste Management (Pty) Ltd v Chairperson, Tender Board: Limpopo Province and Others [2007] ZASCA 165.

Minister of Finance and Others v Gore NO [2006] ZASCA 98.

South African Post Office v De Lacy and Another [2009] ZASCA 45.

Steenkamp NO v Provincial Tender Board, Eastern Cape [2006] ZACC 16.

The SIU v Ledla Structural Development (Pty) Ltd and 43 Others: (GP07/2020).


Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment Act 53 of 2003.

Disaster Management Act 57 of 2002.

Local Government: Municipal Finance Management Act 56 of 2003.

Local Government: Municipal Systems Act 32 of 2000.

National Supplies Procurement Act 89 of 1970.

Preferential Procurement Policy Framework Act 5 of 2000.

Prevention and Combating of Corrupt Activities Act 12 of 2004.

Promotion of Administrative Justice Act 3 of 2000.

Public Finance Management Act 1 of 1999.

State Tender Board Act 86 of 1968.


Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, 1996.


Brunette, R. & Klaaren, J. South African public procurement law needs a tougher approach to enforcement to combat corruption. It will have one if it empowers and motivates whistle-blowers. Daily Maverick, [online] Available at: <> [Accessed 08 March 2021].

Bosio, E. & Djankov, S. How large is public procurement? World Bank Blogs, [online] Available at: <> [Accessed 08 March 2021].

Mashego, A. & Stone, S. Outrage over Gauteng’s 24-hour, R30m express tender. City Press, [online] Available at: <> [Accessed 04 June 2020].

International documents

United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL). Model Law on Public Procurement, UNGA Res 66/95 (9 December 2011), A/66/17, annex I.

Articles & notes