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MBABANE – The business community has lauded government for finally coming to their senses by allowing businesses that had been awarded tenders late to submit price increase requests.

Federation of the Swaziland Business Community (FESBC) Vice- President Hezekiel Mabuza expressed joy in that government has finally granted them their wish to submit new prices for tenders whose price quotations had been overtaken by events and market prices. 

He explained that their request was on the basis that changes in the economy had influenced prices. Therefore, it would have been folly to continue supplying the tendered for items at the same prices because this would effectively attract more costs for their businesses. “Supplying government at the same prices would have attracted losses for businesses,” said Mabuza.  In a notice issued yesterday, the Central Government Stores reminded all suppliers who were awarded tenders of section 1, sub section 10 of the framework on contract price increase.  “Suppliers may individually forward their price increase request on items they are unable to supply due to price escalations in the market. These may be forwarded to Central Government Stores,” reads the announcement.

Mabuza further noted that being allowed to modify their pricing would help improve businesses compliance to legislation, especially taxes. Federation of Swaziland Employers and Chamber of Commerce (FSE&CC) President Andrew Le Roux has previously criticised the late awarding of tenders by government. He recommended that suppliers ought to be allowed to adjust the pricing they made earlier on. This came about after an outcry from some suppliers that government had just awarded tenders which ought to have been awarded in the 2015/16 financial year.

Le Roux said suppliers complained that late awarding of the tenders would result in them forking out more money from their pockets mainly because the prices of the goods and services they tendered for had increased over the years.  The businesses argued that it did not make business sense to supply government with goods and services which were now pricier than at the time they were quoted. 

Le Roux said this was not fair and raises issues of budgeting accuracy by government. “The delayed granting of tenders is not fair. It makes me question how accurate the budgeting process was if the money was predicted to be available but the tenders were not awarded. Considering the inflation increase over the past few months, government would essentially be buying the goods at an eight per cent discount which is not fair,” Le Roux added.

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