2017 Preferential Procurement Regulations valid until February 2023, says Con Court

The Constitutional Court on Monday confirmed that the suspension of the declaration of the order of invalidity of the 2017 Preferential Procurement Regulations is still valid for 12 months.

The confirmation by the apex court on Monday came after its 16 February 2022 judgment on the matter between the Minister of Finance and Afribusiness regarding the 2017 Regulations.

Subsequently, Finance Minister Enoch Godongwana launched an application to the Constitutional Court seeking clarity on its judgment of 16 February 2022.

According to the Constitutional Court judgment on Monday, section 18(1) of the Superior Courts Act suspended the operation of the Supreme Court of Appeal’s 12-month suspension of the invalidation of the 2017 Regulations.

In a statement, National Treasury said: “In practical terms, the countdown on the 12-month period of suspension commenced immediately after the date of suspension. The countdown, however, was halted by the lodgement of the application for leave to appeal in the Constitutional Court.”

The Court also confirmed that the countdown resumed on 16 February 2022, when the Constitutional Court dismissed the Minister’s appeal against the Supreme Court of Appeal’s order.

The 2017 Regulations are now valid until 15 February 2023, unless new regulations are promulgated before that date.

This, said Treasury, means that the 2017 Regulations in their entirety are still valid.

“From today, all exemptions granted to deal with the period of uncertainty following the Court’s judgment of 16 February 2022, lapse (according to the condition in the letters of exemptions).

“From today, all new quotations must be requested and tenders must be advertised and dealt with in accordance with the 2017 Regulations; a quotation requested or tenders advertised before today must be dealt with in terms of the exemption and the internal procurement policy in place for the duration of the exemption,” Treasury said.

The department said an organ of State may, however, decide to withdraw such a request for a quotation or an advert for a tender and request a new quotation or advertise a new tender that will be subject to 2017 Regulations.

National Treasury said it is currently considering the public comments on the draft Preferential Procurement Regulations published on 10 March 2022, and would prepare final regulations that accord with the Constitutional Court’s judgment of 16 February 2016.

“Organs of State should by 16 February 2023 ensure that procurement policies, in line with the Constitutional Court’s judgment of 16 February 2022, are in place or, if new Preferential Procurement Regulations are promulgated, when these Regulations take effect.”

Source: South African Government News Agency