APLU contributes to SmartProcurementWorld Indaba 2018

Quinot presenting at SmartProcurementWorld 2018.

Quinot presenting at SmartProcurementWorld 2018.

Two APLU members, Dr Allison Anthony and Prof Geo Quinot, contributed to the 12th Annual SmartProcurementWorld Indaba held at Gallagher Convention Centre in Midrand, Johannesburg between 17 and 20 September 2018. This annual event attracts more than 500 visitors from all sectors of supply chain management, both in private and public sectors.

Dr Anthony hosted a technical round table in which she analysed a number of recent key judgments in the area of public procurement. These included cases dealing with

  • Strict compliance with tender conditions
    • ABET Inspection Engineering (Pty) Ltd v The Petroleum Oil & Gas Corporation of South Africa
    • Overstrand Municipality v Water & Sanitation Services SA (Pty) Ltd
  • Extension of tender validity period
    • Raubex Construction (Pty) Ltd Road Agency Limpopo SOC
  • Time frame for challenging tender awards
    • Amandla GCF Construction CC v Municipal Manager of Saldanha Bay MunicipalityGallagher Convention Centre.

Prof Quinot made a presentation on the liability of procurement officials in the public sector. He highlighted the different areas of law in terms of which procurement officials can be held liable and discussed the requirements of each. He focused specifically on the new developments around holding administrators accountable for litigation costs where a public tender is challenged and found irregular by a court, as emerged from the High Court judgment in Westwood Insurance Brokers (Pty) Ltd v Ethekwini Municipality and Others (8221/16) [2017] ZAKZDHC 15 (5 April 2017)

Roundtable discussion on Sustainable Public Procurement

Dr. Maximilian Müngersdorff of DIE introduces the MUPASS project.

Dr. Maximilian Müngersdorff of DIE introduces the MUPASS project.

On 29 August 2018, APLU hosted two researchers from the German Development Institute (Deutsches Institut fur Entwicklungspolitik – DIE) in a roundtable discussion on sustainable public procurement at municipal level. The discussion formed part of a research visit to South Africa by DIE researchers, Dr. Maximilian Müngersdorff & Tim Stoffel, as part of the DIE research project: “Municipalities Promoting and Shaping Sustainable Value Creation (MUPASS) – Public Procurement for Fair and Sustainable Production”. The researchers describe their project as follows:

“MUPASS represents an international research and dialogue project, implemented by the German Development Institute / Deutsches Institut für Entwicklungspolitik (DIE) in close collaboration with the Service Agency Communities in One World (SKEW) and the Federal Ministry for Economic Co-Operation and Development (BMZ).

Rationale of the project

Public Procurement (PP) has potentially a high leverage effect to make economic development more inclusive and ecologically sound, if shaped in the right way. Researchers estimate PP to correspond to at least 10% to 20% of Gross Domestic Product in most countries of the world. A large part of PP is implemented by sub-national entities – hence MUPASS focusses on municipalities as actors. Since the 1990s and the drafting of the Local Agenda 21, the great potential of municipal entities for the transformation towards inclusive and sustainable development patterns has been widely recognized. Today, thousands of subnational public authorities across the globe have approved a local sustainability agenda and are implementing related activities.

Research on Sustainable Public Procurement (SPP) across the world indicates that countries and cities share some basic challenges, such as creating a governance framework for effective SPP implementation or applying instruments that allow for easy-to-manage, inexpensive and transparent modes of conformity assessment.”

Tim Stoffel of DIE gives an overview of the SPP map developed under the project.

Tim Stoffel of DIE gives an overview of the SPP map developed under the project.

The project aims to investigate the framework conditions that facilitate successful sustainable public procurement practices in Europe, sub-Saharan Africa and Latin America. The project furthermore intends to assess the impact of sustainable public procurement practices, especially on workers, smallholders and SMEs.

During the roundtable discussion, the researchers presented data from a number of case studies of European cities that have made progress in implementing sustainable public procurement. They also presented a sustainable public procurement map that they are developing based on the data that can assist in mapping the framework conditions for sustainable public procurement implementation.

South African participants ranged from academics across a range of disciplines, government officials (both from provincial and local government level), postgraduate students and people working in the NGO sector. While sustainable public procurement is still in embryonic stage in South Africa, some interesting developments were shared, especially those spearheaded by the Western Cape provincial government. Participants raised the challenges of limited capacity and funding as barriers to pursuit of sustainable public procurement, but also highlighted innovative solutions that are available to overcome these barriers. There was consensus among participants that more sharing of experiences and knowledge of successes in sustainable public procurement practices at municipal level around the world would greatly contribute to facilitating the uptake of such practices. The DIE MUPASS project was accordingly seen as an important initiative that can drive such exchange.

Participants share thoughts on SPP in South African municipalities.

Participants share thoughts on SPP in South African municipalities.

Procurement law training for investigators of the Public Protector’s Office rolled out to the Eastern Cape, Northern Cape and Free State


Eastern Cape participants.

The project to train investigators of the Office of the Public Protector of South Africa, which started in 2016 as a collaboration between the Konrad Adenaur Foundation, APLU and the Public Protector’s Office continued in 2018. During August, two week-long training workshops were held in East London for the Eastern Cape regional office and in Bloemfontein for the Free State and Northern Cape offices respectively. In additional to the national office in Pretoria, this brings the number of provinces in which training have been done to six. The training will be extended to one more province in 2018 and the remaining two in 2019.

The training continues to be very well received. Participants overwhelmingly indicated that the workshop extended their knowledge in the field of public procurement law and will assist them in investigating procurement-related matters in future. Some of the feedback comments from participants were:

  • Very valuable indeed. Research materials informative and will go a long way in making investigations easier, swift and effective.
    • Northern Cape and Free State participants.Northern Cape and Free State participants.

    Professors are well informed; relevant; professional and well organised … They excel in the field of Public Procurement Law and have provided us with a very scarce, useful, relevant and effective skill to combat and prevent Procurement corruption so as to “unblock the pipe” and take our country forward in strengthening constitutional democracy as PPSA staff.

Deputy Public Protector, Adv Kevin Malunga (left) and APLU's Prof Sope Williams-Elegbe (right) hand out certificates.

Deputy Public Protector, Adv Kevin Malunga (left) and APLU’s Prof Sope Williams-Elegbe (right) hand out certificates.

Quinot speaks at 5th Annual SmartProcurementWorld Western Cape

IMG-20180530-WA0003On 15 May 2018, APLU Director, Prof Geo Quinot, delivered a keynote address during the plenary session of the 5th Annual SmartProcurementWorld Western Cape event. The address was entitled “Improvements to the Preferential Public Procurement Act (Regulations of 2017)” and focused on the new legal mechanisms to pursue preferential procurement in South African public procurement introduced by the Preferential Procurement Regulations, 2017.

More information on this event can be found at http://www.smartprocurementworld.com/westerncape.



On 9 May 2018, APLU hosted its annual Public Procurement Law Symposium.

Speakers at the 2018 APLU Procurement Law Symposium (from left): Peter Volmink, Annamaria la Chimia, Sope Williams-Elegbe and Geo Quinot

Speakers at the 2018 APLU Procurement Law Symposium (from left): Peter Volmink, Annamaria la Chimia, Sope Williams-Elegbe and Geo Quinot

The guest speakers were Annamaria la Chimia of the University of Nottingham and Peter Volmink of Transnet SOC.

Associate Professor La Chimia spoke on “Development Aid Procurement & the UNGPs on Business & Human Rights: challenges and opportunities to move forward ‘the new frontier of BUYING JUSTICE’.”

Mr Volmink’s contribution was entitled  “Breach of SOC board members’ fiduciary duties in the context of public procurement”.

APLU co-director, Sope Williams-Elegbe, and director, Geo Quinot, also made presentations. Prof Williams-Elegbe’s dealt with “Public Procurement contracts as smart contracts: challenges and opportunities”, while Prof Quinot’s presentation focused on “Framework agreements, transversal procurement and the stipulatio alteri”.


Public Procurement Law Symposium 2018


9 MAY 2018


8:30 Registration & coffee

9:00 Session 1: Development Aid Procurement & the UNGPs on Business & Human Rights: challenges and opportunities to move forward ‘the new frontier of BUYING JUSTICE’.

Annamaria la Chimia,
Associate Professor, School of Law, University of Nottingham

9:45 Session 2: Public Procurement contracts as smart contracts: challenges and opportunities

Sope Williams-Elegbe

Professor, Department of Mercantile Law, Stellenbosch University

10:30 Coffee

11:00 Session 3: Breach of SOC board members’ fiduciary duties in the context of public procurement

Peter Volmink

Transnet Executive Manager: Governance, Supply Chain

11:45 Session 4: Framework agreements, transversal procurement and the stipulatio alteri

Geo Quinot, Vice Dean & Professor, Department of Public Law, Stellenbosch University

12:30 Close & light lunch

Attendance is free and open to anyone interested in public procurement law, but seats are limited and it is thus essential to book a seat by sending an email to Kyle Jordaan at kylej@sun.ac.za.


Law Faculty Building room 1028

Corner Ryneveld street and Victoria Street




 Click here to download campus map.

Google map to Stellenbosch campus.

Click here to download invitation.

APLU joins the International Learning Lab on Public Procurement and Human Rights

APLU has joined the International Learning Lab on Public Procurement and Human Rights, a global network to generate knowledge, tools and guidance, and build capacity of local and national procurement agencies to integrate human rights into purchasing.

The International Learning Lab on Public Procurement and Human Rights was established by the International Corporate Accountability Roundtable, the Harrison Institute for Public Law at Georgetown University, and the Danish Institute for Human Rights. The Learning Lab aims to be a network of central and local government procurement agencies and purchasing officers; representatives of other relevant government bodies, such as ministries; procurement professional associations; regional and international organizations; non-governmental organizations (NGOs); national human rights institutions (NHRIs); and relevant academics.

The Learning Lab’s global network will be a platform and mechanism for:

  1. experience-sharing among procurement actors on approaches to integrating respect for human rights;
  2. generating knowledge about public procurement law and policy and human rights;
  3. producing and disseminating tools and guidance to build capacity to integrate human rights issues among procurement professionals; and
  4. promoting coherence between procurement and human rights in international and regional frameworks and initiatives.

Prof Geo Quinot, director of APLU, also joined the Steering Committee of the Learning Lab. Other collaborators include the International Corporate Accountability Roundtable (ICAR), the Harrison Institute for Public Law at Georgetown University, the Danish Institute for Human Rights, London Universities Purchasing Consortium, Public Procurement Research Group at the University of Nottingham and the Business, Human Rights and the Environment Research Group at the School of Law, University of Greenwich.

More detail on the work of the Learning Lab can be found at www.hrprocurementlab.org.

Quinot participates in Africa High-Level Public Procurement Forum

On 3-5 April 2017, Prof Geo Quinot, Director of APLU, participated in the Africa High-Level Public IMG_9367Procurement Forum on Harnessing Public Procurement for Socio-Economic Growth, hosted in Johannesburg by the African Development Bank and the Word Bank Group. Quinot spoke as a keynote speaker in the plenary session on 3 April on “Regulating Public Procurement for Development in Africa”. He also participated in a panel discussion on the question “How can public procurement contribute to realizing socio-economic aspirations?”.

IMG_9298In his keynote contribution, Quinot reflected on the mainstreaming of a developmental perspective on public procurement, and particularly the regulation of public procurement, in recent years. This trend is borne out by the patent link between public procurement and the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development with its sustainable development goals, most clearly in SDG 17 dealing with strengthening the means of implementation and partnerships for the goals; in the Addis Ababa Action Agenda of 2015, where the parties commit themselves to “establish transparent public procurement frameworks as a strategic tool to reinforce sustainable development”. It emerges from the most recent UN Forum on Business and Human Rights, where there were a number of sessions focusing specially on public procurement as a mechanism to facilitate the private sector’s role in promoting human rights, including developmental rights. It emerges from the work currently done by the UN Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights on State obligations under the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights in the context of business activities. In response to the draft general comment of the Committee on this topic, the Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission called on the committee to explicitly include attention to the state-business nexus in the form of public procurement.

The Forum was aimed at key public procurement policy makers, senior public procurement practitioners, development partners, academics, related professional bodies and international NGOs and brought together 250+ senior and technical-level government officials from almost all African countries, representatives from Brazil, Chile, Kyrgyzstan, Philippines, South Korea, Ukraine, and Vietnam, as well as representatives of Transparency International, WTO, OECD, COST, USTDA, FIDIC, ITCILO, UN, CIPS, NEC, Government Technical Advisory Center of South Africa, WAEMU, EBRD, UNCITRAL and Open Contracting Partnership. At its conclusion, the Forum adopted the 2017 JOHANNESBURG RESOLUTION ON PUBLIC PROCUREMENT AFRICA HIGH-LEVEL FORUM ON HARNESSING PUBLIC PROCUREMENT FOR SOCIO-ECONOMIC GROWTH. In the Resolution, delegates agreed “take urgent strategic and tactical actions, in order to accelerate and sustain achievements by: 

  • Elevating public procurement to a strategic function to enable it contribute to realizing countries sustainable and socio-economic aspirations; 
  • Strengthening the integrity of public procurement systems;
  • Substantially increasing capability building in public procurement and contract management through capacity development and professionalization of the public procurement function; 
  • Ensuring public procurement is effective in making PPP succeed in Africa; and 
  • Harnessing Information Technology (IT) for efficient public procurement.”

The Resolution sets out 37 Actions to be undertaken in realising these objectives.