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What is Supplies, Works & Services? Definition

What is Supplies, Works & Services? Definition

In business, the term “supplies, works, and services” (SWS) is used to collectively refer to items or contracts that are necessary for the operation of a company. The term can apply to anything from office supplies to construction projects. In this article, we will provide a definition for the term SWS and explore some of the most common types of supplies, works, and services that businesses need in order to function. We will also touch on some of the benefits and challenges that can come with procuring these items.

What is Supplies, Works & Services?

In short, “supplies, works and services” refers to the procurement of goods, services and construction work from third-party providers. This can include anything from office supplies and janitorial services to complex engineering projects and software development.

When procuring goods and services, it is important to consider the total cost of ownership (TCO). The TCO includes not only the initial purchase price, but also the ongoing costs of maintenance, support and repairs. In some cases, it may be more cost-effective to lease or rent supplies or equipment rather than purchasing them outright.

Construction work is a bit different from other types of procurement, in that there is usually a more defined scope of work involved. Construction contracts typically spell out the specific tasks that need to be completed, along with timelines and milestones. Payment for construction projects is often tied to these milestones, with progress payments made as work is completed.

When selecting a supplier for goods, services or construction work, it is important to consider their experience, reputation and financial stability. You will also want to get quotes from multiple suppliers in order to ensure you are getting the best value for your money.

What is the difference between Goods and Services?

Goods are typically physical objects that can be bought and sold, such as furniture, clothing, books, and electronics. Services are activities that provide a benefit to the customer and cannot be physically stored or sold, such as haircuts, massages, and car repairs.

What types of services does the government purchase?

The government purchases a variety of services in order to carry out its functions. These services can be broadly categorized into four main types:

1. Administrative services: These are services that support the day-to-day operations of the government, such as IT and HR services.

2. Regulatory services: These are services that help the government regulate businesses and industries, such as environmental consulting and legal services.

3. Social welfare services: These are services that provide assistance to individuals in need, such as healthcare and social work services.

4. Infrastructure services: These areservices that help maintain and improve the infrastructure of the country, such as construction and maintenance services.

How to become a registered SWS supplier

To become a registered SWS supplier, businesses must first register with the government’s Central Supplier Database (CSD). To do this, they will need to provide their company details, contact information, and bank account details. Once registered, businesses can then start bidding for SWS contracts.

The CSD is the central repository of all approved suppliers who are able to provide goods or services to the South African Government.

To register on the CSD, suppliers must have a valid Tax clearance certificate and be compliant with the requirements of the Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment Act.


Supplies, Works & Services is a broad category of goods and services that includes everything from office supplies to construction services. In general, anything that a business needs in order to function can fall under the Supplies, Works & Services category. This makes it one of the most important categories for businesses to consider when budgeting and planning for their future.

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The smarter way to have full visibility & control of your suppliers



Feel free to contact us here. Our support team will get back to you as soon as possible

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