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Protecting the environment through public procurement: The case of South Africa

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This article deals with the use of the procurement or purchasing power of governments to protect the environment. The focus is on South Africa and the aim is to show that South African organs of state can use procurement as an environmental policy tool to contribute to sustainable development as they have commendably done so to address past discriminatory policies and practices. It is argued that such use does not fall outside the current legislative framework governing procurement and suggestions are made as to how environmental considerations could be incorporated throughout the procurement process, namely the preparatory stage; the drawing up of tender or technical specifications; ensuring the capability or responsibility of contractors; the use of criteria to compare different tenders; and ensuring that eventual performance under a contract is environmentally sound.

Keywords: Environmental protection; Green procurement; Policy promotion; Public procurement; Public purchasing; South Africa; Sustainable development

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: University of the Western Cape, South Africa.

Publication date: 2008-02-01

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