Public Procurement, Corruption and Blockchain Technology in South Africa: A Preliminary Legal Inquiry
Forthcoming in Geo Quinot and Sope Williams-Elegbe (eds), Regulating Public Procurement in Africa for Development in Uncertain Times (Lexis Nexis, 2020).
18 Pages Posted: 3 Oct 2019
Date Written: September 24, 2019
This paper considers whether blockchain based platforms could be a viable solution to the intractable issue of corruption in public procurement in South Africa. The paper presents a high-level overview of the legal and practical problems that might attend the use of such platforms, including compliance with constitutional law requirements and addressing legal challenges to smart contracts. It will be seen that the decentralised nature of blockchain contracts may serve to limit the potential for fraud and corruption in government contracts, but that constitutional requirements for adequate remedies, which include the cancellation of tender procedures and contracts under certain circumstances may prove to be a barrier to the adoption of blockchain platforms in South Africa.
Keywords: Blockchain, public procurement, corruption, South Africa
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