Original Research

Utilisation of digital central supplier database in enabling electronic procurement in the Limpopo provincial departments

Zwelibanzi Mpehle, Robert M. Mudogwa
Africa’s Public Service Delivery & Performance Review | Vol 8, No 1 | a356 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/apsdpr.v8i1.356 | © 2020 Zwelibanzi Mpehle, Robert M. Mudogwa | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 23 October 2019 | Published: 07 September 2020

About the author(s)

Zwelibanzi Mpehle, Department of Public Management, Faculty of Humanities, Tshwane University of Technology, Pretoria, South Africa
Robert M. Mudogwa, Department of Public Management, Faculty of Humanities, Tshwane University of Technology, Pretoria, South Africa


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Abstract

Background: The establishment of a digital central supplier database (CSD) in the Limpopo provincial departments was envisaged not only to eliminate the duplication of service provider compliance requirements during procurement processes and payment processing but also to level the playing field amongst service providers so that small and upcoming businesses can have equal competitive bidding opportunities like any other business. This therefore meant that the CSD was to ensure that all registered suppliers have an equal and fair prospect of providing goods and services to government, and that acquiring of goods and services is done in a cost-effective manner. However, the Limpopo provincial departments are persistently underspending their allocated budgets at the end of each financial year.

Aim: The aim of this study was to assess whether CSD as an electronic procurement (e-procurement) system adopted by the provincial departments in Limpopo is efficient and cost-effective in enhancing the provisioning of goods and services.

Setting: The study focused on the Limpopo provincial departments, South Africa.

Methods: The study used a qualitative research approach to assess the use of CSD in enabling e-procurement processes. Purposive sampling was employed to sample 14 participants from 12 provincial departments.

Results: The outcome revealed that the technological innovation of centralising the suppliers’ records on the CSD increased transparency and accountability in the process of selecting suppliers who qualify to do business with government, and the system has the potential, if rightly used, to eliminate corrupt activities such as favouritism and collusion.

Conclusion: The article concludes that the successful implementation of CSD by provincial departments and public entities may, amongst other things, improve supply chain management performance, particularly in the selection of suppliers, and may also promote economic development of small, medium and micro-enterprises.


Keywords

e-procurement; central supplier database; supply chain management; cost-effectiveness; economic development.

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