Should you have any queries or questions, please email:

Q Where do I find advice on starting a business?

A. The Small Enterprise Development Agency (SEDA), at 127 Alice Street, +27 31 309 5432.

Qualified staff assist with all aspects of starting a business, including how to complete tenders.  Training and information on business opportunities is also available.

Visit Seda's website at

Q How does eThekwini municipality support and develop Small, Medium and Micro Enterprises (SMMEs)?

A.  By:

  • allocating preferential points;
  • offering business support through the municipal Business Support Unit. Phone: +27 31 311 3254;
  • offering preferential payment terms for very small & micro businesses – eThekwini pays these companies within 14 days.

Q Does the municipality offer tender advice and support?

A. Advice and support is offered through SMME fairs, seminars, and at the Small Enterprise Development Agency at 127 Alice Street Durban.  Tel:  +27 31 309 5432.  Here you will receive assistance with all aspects of starting a business.  SEDA also offers training and information on business opportunities with a range of public organisations and businesses.

Visit SEDA's website at

Q What is the purpose of the accredited supplier database? 

A. To provide a list of accredited suppliers that is used to speed up sourcing of companies to do business with the city. It also provides an auditable selection process, as required by law.

Q Why are companies registered on the database and not called for quotations?

A. We are in the process of improving our systems to allow for constant review of our procedures which is intended to help distribute opportunities among the target groups.  

Q Where does council advertise tenders?

A. In the council gazette, Metro Ezasegagasini, which is published fortnightly and distributed on a Friday in the Independent daily newspapers. It is also available from the City Hall (West Street entrance), Rennies House, Shell House and various other municipal centres.

Tenders and public notices are posted to our website under Tender Notices / Awards.

Quotations are published on official notice boards throughout the municipal units, addresses for which are as follows:

  • City Engineers, 166 Old Fort Place
  • Water Services, Wastewater Management, 3 Prior Road
  • Materials Management Branch, 166 Old For Place, Ground Floor
  • Architectural Department, 166 Old Fort Place, Ground Floor
  • Electricity Unit, 1 Jelf Taylor Crescent, Ground floor
  • Housing Unit, 90 Shepstone Road, New Germany

Q Does the council have a rotation system to ensure that not only one service provider is used all the time?

A. One of our main objectives is to spread work fairly among companies and not to favour any.   The only formal system that exists to rotate work at present is the Siyakhana Consultants Roster which applies to professional services (consultants) in the Built Environment that covers the following disciplines:

  • Architecture
  • Engineering (Civil, Mechanical, Electrical)
  • Land and Engineering Surveying
  • Quantity Surveying
  • Planning

Q Do committees monitor service delivery to ensure that projects are completed on time?

A. There are no formal committees but council officials are dedicated to supervising projects.

Projects have an agreed project period and penalties may be imposed if they are not completed on time.

All Unit heads have key performance indicators that cover the delivery of services. 

Q Does council ensure that *breakout procurement or *unbundling occurs when big projects are advertised, or is the main contractor allowed to sub-contract and outsource? 

A. The normal relationship between the main contractor and the sub-contractor is retained;  however, council facilities good relations between them to ensure that the sub-contractor is not unduly prejudiced in the relationship.

The trend is towards planning the projects on a package basis that benefits a broad range of empowerment targets which is decided at Bid Specification stage.

Breakout procurement or ‘un-bundling’ occurs only to increase the empowerment potential, where possible, or where physical constraints dictate, but council cannot unbundle contracts so as to bypass normal tendering procedures.

*Breakout procurement or unbundling means that projects are split into contracts of smaller values so as to increase the chances of smaller companies getting work.

Q Why does the municipality not provide feedback to tenderers on unsuccessful bids?

A. Council is continuously seeking to improve feedback given to tenderers. This is a formal requirment for public tenders, and attempts are being made to ensure that this is the case for quotations.                              

Q Does the municipality issue more than one cession? Sometimes the contractor uses the cession with one supplier and when he/she requires a product or service from another supplier, the contractor encounters a problem.

A. In special circumstances this can be allowed but this would be exceptional. Cessions are meant to assist contractors to establish a credit record and help contractors get to a point where they are no longer dependant on cessions to undertake work on behalf of the municipality.

Q Can a person registered on the council database tender for provincial work or is it necessary to register with the province and visa versa. 

A. There are no direct links between the databases of the various state departments, partly because policies differ between these institutions.

The idea of a ‘Procurement Centre of Excellence’ includes rationalisation between organs of state and parastatals. This is a long-term objective. 

Q Is it necessary to submit a tax clearance certificate with every tender bid?

A. Yes, this is a requirement of the National Supply Chain Regulations.