Regional cooperation in public procurement: A South African perspective

Authors Stephen P Le R De La Harpe

ISSN: 2026-8556
Affiliations: Associate Professor, Faculty of Law, North-West University
Source: SADC Law Journal, The, 2012, Issue 2, p. 223 – 245


One of the major challenges in the regionalisation of public procurement, especially in the developing world, is the achievement of countries’ socio-economic objectives and how to balance this with the liberalisation of regional trade in the public procurement sphere. From the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL) Model Law on Public Procurement of Goods, Services and Construction, the General Procurement Agreement of the World Trade Organization (WTO), and the South African law, it is clear that effective measures are available for states to achieve their socio-economic objectives. However, the necessary safeguards need to be put in place to ensure that the generally acceptable principles of public procurement also apply to these measures. The mere fact that countries need to achieve their socio-economic objectives should not be an obstacle in the regionalisation process or in the deeper integration of public procurement in a region. In fact, governments should lead by example and strive to deepen regional integration in public procurement. Therefore, it will be necessary for the individual country to find the balance between realising its socio-economic objectives and the need to allow all states in the region to access its internal public procurement market.