How to Get a Tender from Telkom
For many businesses, and particularly those that focus on providing infrastructure-related products or services, landing government tenders can be highly lucrative and reputable jobs for the company to undertake.
This is often due to the fact that many such tenders involve large-scale rollout plans and significant budgets – factors that inevitably mean that a lot is expected of the company to which the tender is ultimately awarded. This also means that there are in most cases a lot of similar businesses that compete for specific tenders, making it important to understand the factors involved that can help your own company to come out on top.
As a partially state-owned company, and one of the largest within South Africa, Telkom issues tenders on a relatively frequent basis, making this an easy entry point into the tender market (provided, of course, that your business can meet the requirements of the job). There are various different categories of tenders that Telkom offers.
Informal process tenders
Tenders issued according to an informal process are categorized as follows:
- Letter/facsimile tenders – These tenders are not posted on Telkom’s Tender Bulletin, but are instead delivered by post, fax, or hand to at least three potential bidders. These tenders are limited to amounts of R500 000 and close at a predetermined date.
- Requests for quotations (RFQ) are used as once-off purchase agreements where needed supplies or services cannot be obtained by means of an existing agreement. These tenders are offered to specific potential bidders.
- Proprietary tenders are issued to the sole supplier of a particular product or service. Quotes are obtained directly from the supplier in question.
- Restricted tenders – this kind of tender applies to work carried out in sensitive locations or for purposes that require more specialized work. These tenders are also not published.
As informal process tenders are invited directly by Telkom, the best way to attract this kind of invitation is to build up a strong reputation as a supplier of needed goods and/or services, and to ensure that your business operations are as extensive as possible. Taking on formal process tenders can also contribute towards this.
Formal process tenders
Formal process tenders are essentially open to all bidders, and are published regularly in Telkom’s online Tender Bulletin. They are generally held open for a period from one up to four weeks. Closing time is usually at 11:00 on the closing date, after which late bids will only be considered at the sole discretion of Telkom’s review board.
Telkom has recently streamlined their electronic tender process (e-RFX), making it easier than ever to view the tenders that are currently open and to make a bid.
The steps involved are easy to follow:
- Telkom advertises the e-RFX for each specific tender on the Tender Bulletin.
- Suppliers can then access and complete the ‘supplier registration document’ that is attached to the tender for which they want to make a bid, and return the completed document to the relevant person included in the advertisement.
- Telkom then captures the relevant details on their e-RFX system, on completion of which the supplier can respond directly to the tender.
- If the bid is successful, the supplier will be notified in due course.
More detailed guidelines on how to complete the e-RFX procedure are available on the Telkom website.
Telkom states in its Code of Business Conduct that it is committed to building a “high-performance, values-driven culture” that includes not only the company itself, but extends to those with whom they do business.
In accordance with this, the best way to go about landing a Telkom tender is to ensure that your company is well-equipped to provide the right goods and services at the right price, and has a history and reputation that upholds this ability.
When bidding for a tender, be sure to give all the relevant information that might be viewed as advantageous, and that portrays your company in a positive light. Meanwhile, continue to build your company’s brand and capabilities toward a national level, putting you at the top of any bidders list.