Governments worldwide have ways that they do business with private suppliers, with minimum set standards that must be adhered to. In the same manner, the South African Government has its own demands, one of which is that all businesses that do business with it be registered and entered into the Central Supplier Database (CSD) of the country.
What is the CSD? Well, this is a platform where individuals, businesses, and institutions that want to do business with the South African Government can register their details. The fact that you would have registered there is, in fact, an expression of interest in doing business with the Government of South Africa. The CSD, therefore, maintains a database of organizations, institutions, and individuals who can provide goods and services to the Government. And, below is the registration process.
- Visit the CSD website, click where it says Register, and register as a new account
- Afterwards, you receive an activation email to the email address you would have used to register. Follow instructions to activate the account
- Log into your account on CSD
- Next, you will fill in the following details, as requested
- Supplier identification information – foreign suppliers can register too
- Provide your industry classification
- Provide your contact and address information
- Provide your banking details
- Provide your tax information
The above stages are the initial registration processes. Once you are done with those, you will be asked to proceed. Below is how the process will continue;
- After providing your tax information, if your company was not registered through the Companies and Intellectual Property Commission (CIPC), you will be asked to provide directors and members information
- Provide company associations, if relevant
- Provide commodities information
- Maintain users
- Complete notification information
- If relevant, provide accreditation information
- Complete your B-BEE information
- Once done, click on Submit to continue
After submission, a CSD supplier number and unique registration reference are auto-generated and sent to you. Once you complete registering, your information will be verified before inclusion in the database. Organs of the state will now be able to access your verified CSD supplier information after you are included, and you will also receive communication to that effect.
Kindly note that there is auto-verification of supplier information with the South African Revenue Service (SARS), the CIPC, and other relevant organizations that maintain up-to-date databases of companies. Therefore, if your company is registered in South Africa and is not up to date with its taxes, or is not compliant on its annual returns with the CIPC, that may jeopardize your chances of making it into the government suppliers database.
Also, as a parting shot, you cannot do business with the South African Government outside this process. Therefore, it helps that your company adheres to all the registration requirements. It will increase your chances of being approved and included in the database. However, the registration process is not very scary, nor is it too difficult – approach it calmly and provide everything they require.